SpaceX completes Falcon 9 static fire test ahead of Crew-1 launch

FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File Photo

Washington, Nov 13 (IANS) The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft that will launch four astronauts to the International Space Station, the Crew-1 mission, has completed a key prelaunch milestone, the integrated static fire.

Crew Dragon is targeting launch on a Falcon 9 on Saturday at 7.49 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

“Static fire of Falcon 9 complete — targeting Saturday, November 14 at 7.49 p.m. EST for launch of Crew Dragon’s first operational mission to the @space_station with four astronauts on board,” SpaceX said in a tweet on Thursday.

“Teams will continue monitoring weather conditions for liftoff and along the flight path,” it added.

The Crew-1 flight will carry Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, all NASA astronauts, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the space station to join the Expedition 64 crew for a six-month science mission.

“#SpaceX #NASA #Crew1 just finished final dress rehearsal, getting ready for Saturday launch! Behind me is “real” #Dragon spacecraft,” Noguchi said in a tweet.

The Crew Dragon, including the Falcon 9 rocket and associated ground systems, is the first new, crew spacecraft to be NASA-certified for regular flights with astronauts since the space shuttle nearly 40 years ago.

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