Sunday, March 4, 2012

Image: SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket
collectSPACE/Robert Z. Pearlman
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on Dec. 8, 2010, with the company's first Dragon spacecraft. Three hours and 20 minutes later, the capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, marking a first for a non-governmental entity.
updated 3/4/2012 11:40:54 AM ET
A private SpaceX rocket sailed through a dress rehearsal March 1 for the launch of the robotic Dragon space capsule, which could blast off toward the International Space Station as early as next month.
The five-hour launch readiness test, held at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, went through full countdown procedures, including fueling, for the next Dragon test flight, which is slated for late April. It was designed to check out any potential issues with SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon and associated ground systems.
SpaceX officials were pleased with the results.



Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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