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SpaceX Conducts Static Test Firing Of Next Falcon 1 Rocket

File image.
by Staff Writers
Hawthorne CA (SPX) Jun 27, 2008
Space Exploration Technologies successfully conducted a full launch dress rehearsal and hold down firing of the Falcon 1 Flight 3 vehicle on June 25, 2008 (Marshall Island Time) on Omelek Island, SpaceX's launch site at the Kwajalein Atoll. This test is the final step before launch of the Falcon 1 rocket.

This marks the first launch pad firing of SpaceX's new Merlin 1C regeneratively cooled engine, which operated at full power with only the hold-down system restraining the rocket from flight. In the coming weeks, SpaceX will conduct a thorough review of all data prior to the opening of the launch window for flight, which runs from late July through early September.

"We are definitely not tied to the clock for this launch, and we are checking and crosschecking every aspect of the vehicle and ground systems to ensure a successful mission," said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX.

"Our primary concerns remain the safety and reliability of our vehicle, and the successful delivery of the Defense Department and NASA satellites to orbit."

During launch, SpaceX will use the extensive range safety, tracking and telemetry services provided by the Reagan Test Site (RTS) at the United States Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) in the Central Pacific. RTS will be closed for the national Fourth of July holiday, and resumes operations on 24 July.

The next launch window opens 29 July and runs through 6 August, followed by one from 29 August to 5 September.

The Falcon 1 will carry the Trailblazer satellite for the Jumpstart Program of the Department of Defense's Operationally Responsive Space Office (ORS). Additional secondary payloads include an adapter system developed by the government of Malaysia that holds two small NASA satellites.

SpaceX will provide complete launch day coverage and a live webcast of the launch and ascent into orbit.

Related Links
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Pratt And Whitney Rocketdyne Contract Option For Solar Thermal Propulsion Rocket Engine
Canoga Park CA (SPX) Jun 26, 2008
The United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne a $2.2 million contract for the fabrication and ground test of a Solar Thermal Propulsion rocket engine.







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