SpaceX conducted a static test on the engines of its Falcon 9 rocket, which is set to launch a Dragon freighter to the International Space Station on Friday. The test occurs at around 2:20 in the above video.
It’s difficult to tell from the video, but the test seems somewhat shorter than previous ones. Another curious thing: the test was conducted at 1:30 p.m. EST, which was more than two hours ago as I write this post. Yet, there has been no word from SpaceX or NASA about the how well the test went. That’s a long amount of time without hearing anything.
UPDATE: In an email that I received at 7:15 EST, SpaceX reports the test was successful:
On Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM ET, SpaceX conducted a successful static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket, in advance of a targeted March mission to the International Space Station. The nine-engine test took place at the company’s Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as part of a full launch dress rehearsal leading up to SpaceX CRS-2, the second official cargo resupply mission under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.
During the static fire test today, SpaceX engineers ran through all countdown processes as though it were launch day. All nine engines fired at full power for two seconds, while the Falcon 9 was held down to the pad. SpaceX will now conduct a thorough review of all data and continue preparations for Friday’s targeted launch.
The first launch opportunity for CRS-2 is currently scheduled for 10:10 AM ET on Friday, March 1.