SpaceX rolled out a reused Falcon 9 booster for a hold-down engine firing Wednesday at pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, making the first use of the launch complex since a rocket exploded there in September 2016. The static fire test accomplished Wednesday was a key step in preparations for launch of a space station cargo ship Dec. 12.
In a reshuffling of SpaceX’s launch schedule, a Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff no earlier than Dec. 8 on a mission to deliver several tons of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station and return to service a Cape Canaveral launch pad damaged in a catastrophic rocket explosion last year.
SpaceX has postponed the launch of its next Falcon 9 rocket indefinitely. The rocket was originally scheduled take off Wednesday from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with a top secret U.S. government payload named Zuma. A few minutes after launch, the Falcon 9’s first stage will return for a landing at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.