SpaceX Reports Successful Simulated Countdown on Falcon 9

SpaceX's Falcon 9 on the pad at Cape Canaveral. (Credit: Chris Thompson/SpaceX)
SpaceX's Falcon 9 on the pad at Cape Canaveral. (Credit: Chris Thompson/SpaceX)

Falcon countdown dress rehearsal a ‘great success’
Spaceflight Now

Taking advantage of a picturesque day in the Sunshine State, the privately-developed Falcon 9 rocket came to life Friday afternoon as engineers loaded 75,000 gallons of propellant aboard the vehicle during a simulated countdown.

Friday’s countdown wet dress rehearsal was “the smoothest test we have conducted to date,” said Tim Buzza, the Falcon 9 launch director.

The booster has spent the last week at Complex 40 after being assembled inside a hangar at the pad’s southern perimeter. Stormy weather and high winds earlier this week pushed the countdown rehearsal to Friday.

After powering up the 15-story rocket, the launch team verified all systems were functioning, performed engine purge checks and cleared workers from the launch pad.

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  • Ken

    This is good news. I can’t wait for the launch of this thing. We’ve all been waiting for quite some time.

  • g.r.r.

    Fire that puppy up. Hopefully, it is a successful mission. If we are smart, we will give COTs-D right after a successful flight, to be followed by cutting deals with Boeing and L-Mart as well. We NEED multiple launchers that are not able to be touched by Congress/Admins.

    Once we have multiple launchers available (human and heavy lift) combined with a tug/fuel depot, then we can go back to the moon and on to Mars.

  • Buyck

    Cant wait for the launch! A milestone in American history.

  • Jon

    We will not have a heavy lift for about 15 years under the new plan.

  • Mike

    Jon, you have no basis for that statement. One of the commercial company’s could be contracted under competitive bidding to build an all liquid heavy lift or some other design for no doubt a fraction of the cost of your Pals in entrenched aerospace. I bet Elon Musk could build a heavy lift for 2 billion if he could build a capsule, rocket, and all the systems needed to get to orbit for two different size rockets for 300 million.

    NASA spends 300 million, on items like “pay roll wind down” or “new bathroom faucets”. NASA should just be shut down completely and all the rediculous overhead associated with it. How about the money allocated for HSF is used for HSF instead of garanteeing woulda-coulda-shoulda has beens jobs that they failed at doing right decades ago.