Following the cheers and gasps of Elon Musk’s latest BFR update in Australia, SpaceX is preparing to return to the bread and butter of its Falcon 9 manifest, opening with a Static Fire test at Kennedy Space Center’s 39A. The test is an important milestone ahead of the launch of the SES-11 satellite, currently scheduled to take place on October 7.
The test involves the firing up of the B1031.2 Falcon 9 booster – which is set to conduct its second flight after successfully lofting the CRS-10 Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this year – a launch that was the maiden SpaceX launch from 39A since its transformation from its Space Shuttle era.
The Static Fire test is a key dress rehearsal for the launch team and the rocket.
As standard, the Falcon 9 rolls out to the pad without the payload – a requirement installed following the loss of the AMOS-6 satellite during a Static Fire accident a year ago – and will fire up its engines to validate – among numerous other data points – the health of engine ignition and shut down commands.
Normally, the Static Fire involves the Merlin 1D engines ...