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SpaceX tests Falcon 9 ahead of Dragon launch
Posted: Tue, May 1, 2012, 7:51 AM ET (1151 GMT)
Falcon 9 hot fire test on 2012 Apr 30 (SpaceX) SpaceX overcame a last-minute glitch and successfully carried out a test of the first stage engines of its Falcon 9 rocket on Monday, one of the last milestones before its test flight to the International Space Station next week. The nine engines on the rocket's first stage fired at full power for two seconds Monday afternoon, confirming that they were operating properly. The test was delayed by 75 minutes after the original countdown to the test was stopped by the flight computer less than a minute before ignition because a technical parameter was set improperly. SpaceX plans to launch the Falcon 9 next Monday, May 7, placing the Dragon cargo spacecraft into orbit. The Dragon is flying a test flight to approach and, if all goes well, berth with the station. A successful test will allow SpaceX to begin commercial cargo flights to the station later this year.
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