SpaceX has successfully conducted a static test fire the Hawthorne, California-based firm’s Falcon 9 FT rocket on April 5 Tuesday evening. This test fire was done in preparation for the planned launch of the CRS-8 cargo resupply run to the International Space Station. With this final landmark, the Falcon 9 FT/ Dragon combo was all set to be launched on Friday, April 8, 2016.
Only one second was given to SpaceX managers to send the mission on its way before the close of the “instantaneous” launch window. The static test was finally completed with success on April 6 and the practice countdown included a short test-fire of the rocket’s nine Merlin 1D engines.
The test fire is mainly about the movements that the rocket will have to face during a real launch. It includes fueling the booster, undergoing the countdown and ignition phase, and then the activation of the engines. Throughout the course of the test, the falcon 9 FT remains securely attached to the launch pad. Also, the “Niagara’ sound suppression is activated.
This mission is expected to see the cargo version of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft being returned to service after the June 28, 2015 along with the loss of both the falcon 9 v1.1 rocket and the CRS-7 Dragon spacecraft that it carried. That mission had ended when a strut in the rocket’s second stage failed after 139 seconds of launching. That caused releasing of helium tank and also an explos!on.
With the Dragon, nearly about 7,000 lbs (3,175kg) of cargo, experiments and crew supplies were expected to ride while making its way out of earth’s atmosphere and into the black of space on Friday.