SpaceX says it successfully test-fired the engines on its Falcon 9 rocket today in preparation for Oct. 7's scheduled liftoff of the California-based company's first official cargo delivery to the International Space Station.
The static-fire test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida was considered the "last major test" in advance of the launch, SpaceX said in a Twitter update. The rocket was held down while its nine Merlin engines blazed for a couple of seconds on the pad, at the end of a computer-controlled fueling sequence. Data from the test will be analyzed in advance of the scheduled launch at 8:34 p.m. ET on Oct. 7.
This will be the first launch under the terms of a 12-flight, $1.6 billion NASA contract to resupply the space station. In May, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sent an unmanned Dragon capsule to its first space station hookup, during a NASA-funded demonstration flight. The success of that mission cleared the way for cargo flights to begin in earnest.
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