Video: SpaceX rocket lights engines in pre-flight test

Video credit: Steven Young/Spaceflight Now

Passing a major pre-flight milestone ahead of a launch and landing planned early Sunday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket ignited its main engines Wednesday for a hold-down firing at Cape Canaveral.

The static fire test occurred at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) on Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad, with the rocket’s satellite payload attached.

The next step in launch preparations will be to return the Falcon 9 rocket to its horizontal assembly building for mating with the Telstar 19 VANTAGE communications satellite, a U.S.-built, Canadian-owned craft set to begin a 15-year mission beaming broadband services across the Americas and the Atlantic.

Liftoff is set for 1:50 a.m. EDT (0550 GMT) Sunday at the opening of a four-hour launch window. It will be SpaceX’s 13th launch of the year, and the second flight of the company’s upgraded Falcon 9 Block 5 vehicle.

Read our full story for details on the static fire test.

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