SpaceX refires returned Falcon 9R first stage in hold down static test

by | Jan 22, 2016 | Launches, Seradata News, SpaceX, Technology, test | 0 comments

The failure of SpaceX’s most recent Falcon 9R barge landing attempt has not deterred the firm. The SpaceX engineering team does at least have the completely successful Cape Canaveral land landing (excuse the alliteration) of its reusable rocket stage to be proud of. That 21 December 2015 launch and landing also succeeded in its main aim: to deliver its customer’s payload of nine Orbcomm communications satellites to the correct orbit. However, SpaceX also realises that to make the economics of reusability work requires the rocket to have a quick turnaround, with very little refurbishment. To that end, the successfully landed rocket stage was recovered from landing zone LZ-1. It and its engines were then test-fired at the LC-39A launch pad on 15 January 2016, within a month of its landing. While the test went well overall, Elon Musk, the firm’s leader and chief technical officer, noted that Engine No 9 had some thrust fluctuations. The firm does not plan to fly this stage again but will reuse stages recovered in the same way in future.


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