SpaceX delays static test fire of Falcon 9 for CRS-3 mission
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has postponed a test fire of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket which had been scheduled to take place today at 1 p.m. EST. The Falcon 9 v1.1 on the pad at Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida is poised to launch the third of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) under the $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract SpaceX has with NASA.. Liftoff is currently slated to take place at 4:41 a.m. EST on March 16.
The static test fire has been rescheduled to take place tomorrow, Saturday March 8 and is the last milestone the F9 v1.1 has to accomplish before being cleared to launch. The rocket will be taken to the very moment of liftoff during the test to prove it is ready for launch.
CRS-3 will be a flight of many firsts for the Hawthorne, California-based firm. It will be the first launch of a Dragon on the upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 version of the booster, the first Falcon 9 to have landing “legs” affixed to it and the first Dragon spacecraft to ferry more than 2,000 lbs of cargo to the ISS.
If all proceeds according to plan, the F9 v1.1 will launch an estimated 5,000 lbs of cargo to the orbiting laboratory. The launch has been repeatedly delayed due to technical issues as well as those involving other spacecraft docked or berthed to the ISS. This will mark the second launch this year for SpaceX, hinting at a possible increase from the company’s prior ability to launch which has happened at the rate of approximately twice a year.
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.