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Falcon 9 completes engine tests
Posted: Wed, Jan 6, 2010, 7:20 AM ET (1220 GMT)
Falcon 9 2nd stage engine test (SpaceX) SpaceX announced Tuesday that the company has completed engine tests for its Falcon 9 launch vehicle, clearing the way for the rocket's inaugural launch in the coming months. SpaceX reported that the Falcon 9's second stage completed a full duration, five-and-a-half-minute test firing on Saturday, the length of the burn needed to place a payload into orbit. This was the final test for the second stage, which will now be shipped to Cape Canaveral, joining the first stage, which completed its engine test last fall. The company said it anticipated the first Falcon 9 launch will take place one to three months after the second stage arrives at the Cape, currently scheduled for the end of this month. The first Falcon 9 launch will carry a demonstration version of its Dragon capsule that will later carry cargo, and potentially crews, to and from the International Space Station.
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