SpaceX Completes Crucial Falcon 9 Static Fire Test Targeting NASA Crew-1 Launch to ISS Nov. 14: Photos

SpaceX Completes Crucial Falcon 9 Static Fire Test Targeting Crew-1 Launch Nov. 14: Photos
SpaceX conducts successful static fire test of Falcon 9 first stage engines at 3:49 p.m. ET on Nov. 11 with exhaust spewing out from the flame trench at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center – targeted for launch Nov. 14, 2020 at 7:49 p.m. ET. As seen from the Indian River, Titusville, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEMTITUSVILLE/KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL –   SpaceX engineers successfully completed a crucial static fire test on the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage engines  Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 11  amidst continuing positively gloomy weather from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Eta impacting much of Florida including the Space Coast and is currently still targeting liftoff of the NASA Crew-1 mission with 4 astronauts on Saturday, Nov. 14 on their six month mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from Florida’s Spaceport.

The static fire test of the first stage engines was carried out at 3:49 p.m. ET Wednesday after being delayed from Monday and Tuesday due to weather impacts from Hurricane Eta and the need to fix a valve in the second stage engine.

The brief hold down static fire test of the brand new Falcon 9 rocket booster fully integrated with and capped by the commercial Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft took place Wednesday at 3:49 p.m. ET today under truly gloomy and very hazy weather conditions from Eta – and the exhaust plume was hardly visible right at the opening of the 6 hour long test window.

SpaceX conducts successful static fire test of Falcon 9 first stage engines at 3:49 p.m. ET on Nov. 11 with exhaust spewing out from the flame trench at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center – targeted for launch Nov. 14, 2020 at 7:49 p.m. ET. As seen from the Indian River, Titusville, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

I watched the mid-afternoon engine test Wednesday from nearby in Titusville, Fl  about a dozen miles away across the Indian River lagoon and observed the exhaust plume and vapor cloud emanating from the bottom of the booster – just barely visible in the afternoon haze with choppy waves and surf.

From a distance the test appeared normal – however as always we awaited SpaceX confirmation of a good result.

Almost 90 minutes later SpaceX did confirm a good test and targeted launch for Nov. 14 – and also indicated that weather conditions from Eta are still a significant factor to be monitored.

“Static fire of Falcon 9 complete – targeting Saturday, November 14 at 7:49 p.m. EST for launch of Crew Dragon’s first operational mission to the @space_station with four astronauts on board. Teams will continue monitoring weather conditions for liftoff and along the flight path,” SpaceX tweeted.

A back up launch opportunity is available on Sunday, Nov. 15 with an instantaneous launch time of 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday (0027 GMT Monday).

SpaceX conducts successful static fire test of Falcon 9 first stage engines at 3:49 p.m. ET on Nov. 11 with exhaust spewing out from the flame trench at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center – targeted for launch Nov. 14, 2020 at 7:49 p.m. ET. As seen from the Indian River, Titusville, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The brief hold down hotfire test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage rocket and Merlin 1D engines was run after the rocket was again raised early Wednesday morning – and is routinely done to confirm the readiness of the rocket for launch.

All 9 Merlin 1D first stage engines were ignited to generate approx. 1.7 million pounds of thrust for about 3 seconds or so

During the hold down static fire test, the rocket’s first and second stages are fueled with liquid oxygen and RP-1 propellants just like an actual launch, and a simulated countdown was carried out to the point of a brief engine ignition lasting around 3 seconds or so.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket integrated with Crew Dragon Resilience and were rolled out and stand vertical atop Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida on Nov. 10, 2020 for launch targeted for Nov. 14 to the ISS on Crew-1 mission with 4 astronauts. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The weather outlook currently shows a 60% chance of acceptable conditions at launch time.

 

The Crew-1 team of NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), landed via plane at the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy at 1:45 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 8 after departing earlier Sunday from Ellington Field near the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

A crew arrival media event for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission is held Nov. 8, 2020, at the Launch and Landing Facility at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Posing for a photograph after speaking to the media, from left are, NASA astronaut Victor Glover, pilot; NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, spacecraft commander; NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, mission specialist; and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, mission specialist. Crew-1 is the first crew rotation mission of a U.S. commercial spacecraft with astronauts to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Resilience, will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

 

 

Enjoy our Space UpClose photos of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon vertical at pad 39A taken on Tuesday Nov. 10 from the KSC LC-39A Press site.

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has been joined to Crew Dragon Resilience and were rolled out and stand vertical atop Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida on Nov. 10, 2020 for launch target for Nov. 14 to the ISS. KSC Countdown Clock and US and Crew-1 flags in foreground. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Upon their arrival aboard Resilience, the Crew-1 astronauts will become members of Expedition 64, joining NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, as well as Expedition 64 commander Sergey Ryzhikov and flight engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both of the Russian space agency Roscosmos who recently launched on Oct 14 aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule.

 

 

 

The Crew-1 mission is a major step for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Operational, long-duration commercial crew rotation missions will enable NASA to continue the important research and technology investigations taking place onboard the station.

Further details about the Crew-1 mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found in the press kit online and by following the commercial crew blog@commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Watch Ken’s commentary at WESH 2 NBC TV News Orlando about the possible weather impact from Hurricane Eta on the launch and landing

https://www.wesh.com/article/eta-threatens-astronaut-mission/34647727

Ken Kremer of Space UpClose discussing Crew-1 mission on WESH 2 NBC News Orlando

Watch for Ken’s continuing live and onsite reporting from KSC about the Crew-1 mission.

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Crew Dragon Starlink, Commercial Crew and Artemis and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Demo-2, Starlink, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

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Glorious view of VAB and Countdown Clock flying US and Crew 1 flags with unsettled Florida Spaceport weather overhead accompanies ‘Go For Launch’ given by NASA and SpaceX after FRR -soon after I took this photo at KSC LC-39A press site -targeting Nov 14 liftoff of 4 astronauts to ISS. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

SpaceX Crew-1 official crew insignia

 

 

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Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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