Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, popularly known as SpaceX, has fired all nine engines of the Falcon 9 rocket today at Cape Canaveral, Florida as part of the SpaceX’s rehearsals for the Dragron spacecraft’s second launch this coming May 7. The main goal of the expedition will be to travel to the International Space Station where the first-ever commercial space capsule will conduct a series of exercises to check its navigation system after which astronauts will unload the supplies and items to the research facility.
If things will go as planned, the capsule will then will make a return trip back to Earth with a cargo on it. Dragron will also be the first reusable cargo spacecraft in station operations. After a slight delay caused by a computer glitch, the first ever commercial space capsule successfully conduced the static fire tests of the rocket. During the test, the nine Merlin engines of the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage ignited for two seconds with the booster attached to the launch pad.
“So far things look good. The engines fired for 2 seconds, as scheduled. Engineers will now review data as we continue preparations for the upcoming launch,” SpaceX spokesperson Kirstin Grantham said. The Falcon 9 rocket that will be used to launch the capsule is a two-stage booster that is 180 feet tall or 55 meters tall. Once it lands at the ISS on May 9, the unmanned Dragon space capsule will be received by astronauts using a robotic arm.