SpaceX’s final planned Crew Dragon test flight before astronauts ride the commercial spaceship into orbit is scheduled for Saturday, when an unpiloted crew capsule will fire off the top of a Falcon 9 rocket shortly after launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to test the craft’s in-flight emergency escape capability.
SpaceX fired up nine Merlin main engines at the bottom of a previously-flown Falcon 9 booster Saturday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, running the rocket through a practice countdown before a scheduled liftoff Jan. 18 with a Crew Dragon capsule to test the human-rated ship’s high-altitude abort capability.
SpaceX is gearing up for launch of an unpiloted Crew Dragon spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Center for a crucial test of the crew capsule’s launch abort system. A modified Falcon 9 rocket performed a test-firing at launch pad 39A Saturday before carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft into the upper atmosphere for an in-flight abort test scheduled for Jan. 18.
A hefty communications satellite built by Boeing and launched by SpaceX Monday night from Cape Canaveral is on the way to a lofty perch more than 22,000 miles over the Pacific Ocean, where a startup named Kacific will use it to link remote populations seeking connectivity for health clinics, schools and other basic services.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 7:10 p.m. EST Monday (0010 GMT Tuesday) with the JCSAT 18/Kacific 1 communications satellite, heading for a position in geostationary orbit to beam broadband signals across the Asia-Pacific. The launcher deployed the satellite into an on-target orbit, and the first stage returned to land on SpaceX’s drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.