Watch SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket test fire in advance of launch

The commercial rocket's static fire test was a success on the second try. It's scheduled for launch toward the International Space Station on May 7.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket passed a static fire test today in preparation for next month's launch. SpaceX

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its attached Dragon spacecraft exhaled flames for a few seconds today at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After pausing the first attempt at a test firing of the Falcon 9 due to a glitch just moments before the end of the countdown, SpaceX proceeded with a second attempt, which succeeded. The rocket remained stationary, but the system passed the "static fire" test with flying colors, putting Elon Musk's commercial space venture one step closer to reaching the International Space Station for the first time.

The test firing was the height of a full dress rehearsal for SpaceX's second demonstration launch for NASA, which has given millions of dollars to support the company's efforts. Falcon 9 is scheduled to lift off on May 7, carrying the unmanned, gumdrop-shaped Dragon craft out of the atmosphere where it will attempt to robotically approach the space station. If all goes well, it could proceed to attempt rendezvous maneuvers with the ISS, making it the first commercial craft to drop in for a visit.

SpaceX spokesperson Kirstin Brost Grantham said in an e-mail following the launch that "so far things look good. Engines fired for 2 seconds, as scheduled. Engineers will now review data as we continue preparations for the upcoming launch."

Watch the video below to see Falcon 9 and its attached Dragon puffing smoke.

About the author

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Crowdsourcing.org and has written e-books on both Alaska and Android. E-mail Eric.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Best cameras for foodie photographers (pictures)
10 mobile gadgets gone gonzo (pictures)
Apple in 2014: iPhone 6, iCloud hack, Beats and more (pictures)
The 12 most distinctive phones of 2014 (pictures)
Best mobile games of 2014
Nissan gives new Murano bold style (pictures)