SpaceX completes static fire for next launch, advances its Falcon Heavy prep


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Capitalism in space: SpaceX today successfully completed its routine dress rehearsal static fire in preparation for a Monday launch of a Dragon cargo capsule to ISS.

Two items of note regarding this launch. First, it will be the last cargo capsule launched by SpaceX that has not been used before. From now on they plan on recycling all cargo ships, and have actually shut down the production line building new cargo capsules. Instead, they want to focus on building new upgraded manned Dragon capsules.

Second, even as this launch goes forward, with the first stage expected to land at Kennedy on their landing pad there, they are building the second landing pad at this same site to accommodate the planned November first launch of Falcon Heavy. For that launch, the two side mounted first stages will return to Kennedy, while the core stage will land on a barge in the ocean.

Share

2 comments

  • Edward

    From the article: “However, Mr. Musk is notorious for publically stressing the difficulties associated with new milestones, as previously seen when taking to Twitter to play down the chances of success with some of the recent booster returns, which – of course – were successful.

    The article fails to mention how many failed attempts there were at landing Falcon on the recovery drone ship (formerly known as a barge). First launch attempts are still not guaranteed to succeed. Many surprising things can go wrong. Even the first Ariane V exploded spectacularly due to a failure to adequately update Ariane IV software for use on the new rocket.

    From the article: “[Last September’s launch pad explosion] heavily damaged the SLC-40 pad, especially below ground level as burning propellant from the deceased rocket drained into the base structures.

    I was wondering why the repairs were taking so long.

  • wodun

    The central FH core is essentially a new rocket from my limited understanding. Being a little cautious with its performance is warranted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *