SpaceX is preparing their Falcon 9 rocket for its static fire before the historic Crew Dragon debut mission – Demo Mission-1 (DM-1) – from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The launch will be the first orbital test flight of Crew Dragon, though without astronauts onboard. The Falcon 9 vehicle includes core B1051, on what will be its maiden flight. The static fire is scheduled for NET (No Earlier Than) Wednesday.
The launch of DM-1 is currently scheduled for February 16, although a firm launch date won’t be known until after several key reviews that will follow the Static Fire test. Following launch, the vehicle will autonomously dock to the International Space Station (ISS) around two days later and will spend several days at the station for checks and tests.
Afterwards, it will undock and make a parachute-assisted landing in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral. It will be recovered by SpaceX’s leased ship GO Searcher, and brought back to Port Canaveral.
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The static fire test is a unique feature of the Falcon rocket family. The test consists of a complete dress rehearsal of ...