Good Test Fire Paves Way for Next SpaceX Launch and Landing Aug 14

Falcon-9 launching a cargo Dragon capsule for NASA off pad 39A. Photo: Mike Killian

SpaceX’s 12th contracted resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida next Monday, August 14 at 12:31 p.m. EDT, after a successful test fire of the Falcon 9 rocket was conducted earlier today atop historic launch pad 39A.

Watch the short test fire above. It’s standard practice for SpaceX before every launch, a dress rehearsal basically but without the rocket leaving the pad, which gives SpaceX full confidence the rocket and its 9 Merlin engines are ready to fly.

The mission, CRS-12, will mark the first time SpaceX has launched 3 cargo missions to the ISS in a single year with their Dragon capsule, and will give them another opportunity to attempt landing the rocket back near the launch site minutes later, at Landing Zone 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station a few miles south.

File photo: Falcon 9 landing at Landing Zone 1. credit: Mike Killian

Roughly 6,415 pounds (2,910 kg) of equipment, experiments and supplies will fly aboard Dragon. This includes 485 pounds (220 kg) of crew supplies, 747 pounds (339 kg) of vehicle-related hardware, 66 pounds (33 kg) of spacewalking gear, 117 pounds (53 kg) of computer stuff and 2,019 pounds (916 kg) of science investigations to support over 250 research payloads across the ongoing Expedition 52 and upcoming Expedition 53 crews.

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Mike Killian

Written by Mike Killian

Killian is an aerospace photographer and writer, with a primary focus on spaceflight and military and civilian aviation. Over the years his assignments have brought him onboard NASA's space shuttles, in clean rooms with spacecraft destined for other worlds, front row for launches of historic missions and on numerous civilian and military flight assignments.

When not working the California-native enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, storm chasing, producing time-lapses and shooting landscape and night sky imagery, as well as watching planes of course.

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