[Satellite TODAY 06-26-12] Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)
has achieved a full mission duration firing of its Merlin 1D engine and completed multiple restarts at target thrust and specific impulse, the company announced June 25.
The tests took place at SpaceX's rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk said the engine firing lasted for 185 seconds with 147,000 pounds of thrust — the full duration and power required to launch its Falcon 9 rocket.
“This is another important milestone in our efforts to push the boundaries of space technology,” Musk said in a statement. “With the Merlin 1D powering the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, SpaceX will be capable of carrying a full range of payloads to orbit.”