Video: Engines ignited for hold-down test on SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 rocket

Video credit: William Harwood/CBS News

Nine Merlin main engines at the base of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fired at launch pad 39A Saturday, passing a major test before the company’s next launch, a secretive mission slated for liftoff Wednesday night.

Throttling up to full power for a few seconds, the Merlin 1D engines ignited at 6 p.m. EST (2300 GMT) Saturday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The static fire test clears the way for final launch preparations ahead of the deployment of a clandestine U.S. government payload named Zuma in orbit Wednesday.

It will be SpaceX’s 17th launch of the year, and the 45th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket since the commercial booster debuted in 2010.

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