Private space travel company SpaceX lifted it’s Falcon 9 rocket at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to undergo testing in preparation for a potential launch.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, shared a photo of the rocket in its upright position at the launchpad in Cape Canaveral where the first manned mission to the moon was launched.
“Falcon 9 rocket now vertical at Cape Canaveral on launch complex 39-A,” Musk said. “This is the same launch pad used by the Saturn V rocket that first took people to the moon in 1969. We are honored to be allowed to use it.”
The rocket will undergo a “static fire” test as soon as Sunday in hopes of launching from the historic site on Feb. 18.
During the test, the Falcon 9 will be fueled and the launch team will take part in a practice countdown, in which the rocket will be held down to the pad while firing its nine main engines.
SpaceX hopes to launch the rocket and a Dragon capsule packed with International Space Station supplies in what will be the first mission launched from pad 39A since Atlantis took off on the NASA shuttle program’s final flight in July, 2011.
Kennedy Space Center agreed to allow SpaceX to use pad 39A for 20 years in 2014. The company has since been updating the pad and built a large warehouse called the Horizontal Integration Facility outside the pad to store and prepare Falcon 9 rockets for launch.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense