December 12, 2017

Video: Falcon 9 rocket test-fired at pad 40

SpaceX fired up a Falcon 9 booster at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad Wednesday in advance of a space station resupply launch Dec. 12, returning the pad to service after a rocket explosion there last year.

The previously-flown rocket fired its Merlin 1D main engines at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) Wednesday in a key check of the readiness of the launcher and the launch pad ahead of next week’s liftoff.

SpaceX will return the rocket to the company’s nearby hangar for attachment of a Dragon cargo capsule loaded with several tons of supplies and experiments heading for the International Space Station.

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