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Published: Tue, February 14, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Lula West

SpaceX Falcon static fire reignites historic NASA launch pad

SpaceX Falcon static fire reignites historic NASA launch pad

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has gone vertical at USA space agency NASA's historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) for the first time.

As part of the test, the Falcon 9 test 9 Merlin-1 D engines while the rocket was "static" or clamped down. It is going to be the first launch from the pad 39A since the orbiter Atlantis was launched from here on NASA's shuttle program's final flight in July 2011.

"Falcon 9 rocket now vertical at Cape Canaveral on launch complex 39-A". That pad, known as Launch Complex 40, was heavily damaged during a botched Falcon 9 engine test firing on September 1.

A second shuttle pad, 39B is being retained by NASA for its heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket.

The same pad was originally built for the Apollo program and is where Neil Armstrong, Michael Collin and Buzz Aldrin launched to the moon in 1969.

The Falcon 9 rocket was moved from the space firm's processing hangar at the base of the pad 39A using a massive transporter before dawn on Friday. "We are honored to be allowed to use it".

If all goes as per plan, the Falcon 9 will carry SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. So far, it has been used to deliver cargo to the ISS.

Artist concept of a SpaceX human mission to Mars.

In addition to crew supplies and equipment, the CRS-10 Dragon spacecraft will bring to the space station several science investigations, including 20 live mice for studies on what prevents vertebrates from regrowing bone and tissue; two Earth science payloads; an autonomous rendezvous technology demo; and an experiment supporting antibiotic drug development. According to recent estimates by NASA, seats aboard SpaceX and Boeing rockets could cost a comparatively cheap $58 million each.

The launch on the aforementioned date will be the tenth resupply mission to the International Space Station.

After more than five years, the historic launch pad has a rocket on it again. Some renovations to the site had to be completed to support flights of the company's rockets, as can be read on Space.com.

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