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SpaceX tests Falcon 9 engines, wins contract
Posted: Tue, Mar 16, 2010, 6:54 AM ET (1054 GMT)
Falcon 9 hotfire on pad (SpaceX) SpaceX successfully performed a "hot fire" of its first Falcon 9 rocket on its Florida launchpad on Saturday, and also announced a new launch contract. SpaceX performed the 3.5-second test of the nine engines on the Falcon 9 first stage Saturday as part of preparations for the launch of the first Falcon 9, planned for no earlier than mid-April. The test had been planned for earlier in the week but was aborted because of a glitch with a valve; weather also postponed some attempts. On Monday SpaceX announced it had secured a contract with Space Systems/Loral for the launch of an unnamed GEO communications satellite built by SS/L as early as 2012.
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