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SpaceX successfully completed a countdown dress rehearsal and launchpad hot fire engine test in preparation for the next commercial launch of its Falcon 9 rocket on November 25.

SpaceX successfully completed a countdown dress rehearsal and launchpad hot fire engine test yesterday in preparation for the next commercial launch of its Falcon 9 rocket on November 25.

This was the first such fueling at Kennedy of the Falcon 9.

Update: This article gives some details about why the second engine burn of the upper stage rocket did not occur on the previous Falcon 9 launch, and what SpaceX has done to fix the problem. That failure caused speculation that the engine exploded at the attempt.

It is essential that engine functions in space on the November 25 launch in order for SpaceX to deliver its commercial satellite to its proper geosynchronous orbit.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

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