SpaceX Will Be Using The Historic Launch Complex-39A For Its Next Launch On Saturday
SpaceX conducted a static fire test on Sunday afternoon before the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket for a cargo launch to the International Space Station (ISS). All five of its Merlin-1D engines were fired up while the rocket had been clamped to the ground. The upcoming launch is of great importance to the company as it will be SpaceX’s first launch from the historic Launch Complex-39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
SpaceX's Launch Complex complication
The company obtained rights to use this historic site in 2014 when it signed a 20 year lease with NASA. So what’s so special about this launch pad? For those who don’t know, this place is from where all the Apollo missions (except the Apollo 10) took place. It is also where the first 24 space shuttle missions took off from.
At first the company had planned to use the Launch Complex-39A only for Falcon Heavy rocket launches and other commercial crew missions. On the 1st of September in 2016 a static fire test went wrong in its other launch pad the Launch Complex-40. This accident severely damaged the facilities and the company was left with no other option. So now the company had to expand the usage of this Launch Complex-39A. Apart from launch pads in Florida, the company has a facility at the Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, near Los Angeles. SpaceX used this base last month for a launch.
Since the static test is now complete and has been successful the company can now move forward to its mission of launching its 12th Dragon Spacecraft and also carrying out the 10th cargo delivery to the ISS. The Dragon will be carrying around two tons of pressurized cargo and a ton of unpressurized cargo. The Launch will take place next Saturday at around 10:01 am ET.