SpaceX Conducts Engine Tests
[Satellite Today – 1-29-08] Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) conducted the first multi-engine firing of its Falcon 9 rocket, the company announced Jan. 18.
During the test, the largest to date on the Big Falcon Test Stand, generated more than 180,000 pounds of force and consumed 700 pounds of fuel and liquid oxygen per second. The next run, scheduled for February, will use three engines operating for a full first stage mission duty cycle of three minutes.
“This is a major hardware milestone for our company,” Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX, said in a statement. “It marks the first time that we have simultaneously fired two engines on the same stage. No significant problems were encountered transitioning from single-engine testing in November, which suggests that we will be able to ramp up rapidly to a full complement of nine Merlin engines.”