SpaceX is preparing to launch its eighteenth contracted Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station using its Cargo Dragon spacecraft at the weekend. A key test ahead of the launch is the Static Fire test of the Falcon 9 booster tasked with launching the CRS-18 Dragon, which is set to take place on Tuesday.
A milestone before each one of these launches is the Static Fire test. This is a key dress rehearsal for the rocket, pad and launch control team, allowing for any issues to be ironed out ahead of the big day.
The long test window is set to open at 11 am Eastern, which is the earliest target T-0 for ignition. The windows usually remain open for at least six hours.
SpaceX does not discuss Static Fire flows until after they have completed the short firing of the nine Merlin 1D engines, which includes a small delay while engineers confirm a good test via a process known as the “Quick Look” review.
The booster involved with this mission launched on the previous lofting of a Dragon spacecraft to the ISS, boosting the CRS-17 Dragon to the orbital outpost.
It successfully returned for a landing ...