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Jan. 15 2010 - 6:29 pm | 1,372 views | 1 recommendation | 2 comments

Falcon 9 Test Fire

Source:  SpaceX

Source: SpaceX

Deep in the heart of Texas – a big step on the road to sending privately built spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, ran a full duration test of the second stage motor for its Falcon 9 rocket.  Looks good to me – lots of noise, fire and smoke – and the company confirms the motor did pass the test.

Now they can start packing it up and shipping it off to Cape Canaveral.  SpaceX founder Elon Musk says the test launch will happen there one to two months after the motor is delivered.  The company has a 1.5 billion dollar NASA contract to build a spacecraft that can deliver cargo to the station.  Takes the Fed out of Fed-ex I suppose…


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  1. collapse expand

    So… who’s out there building private spacecraft and who’s going with you on the first one?

  2. collapse expand

    It’s a great show, the fluff and sensationalism makes it interesting, but it needs a little *fact* to back it up.

    As well as joking that it’s hotter than a subway, it’d be nice to get an actual approximate temperature.

    As well as joking about how the dummies felt, it’d be nice to say whether the test results for the honeycombed cushion stood a chance of being used as a protective device.

    Possibly just as good – nay, even better – would be a scrolling tagline with the hard data and URLs to more info about each article, like project websites, etc, so you wouldn’t have to second-guess what data people actually want(*). The segment is, amongst other things, meant to make people want to know more about the industry, and be interested in current projects, right? So make it easy for them!

    (* But, pro tip to help with the guessing – wherever you use a simile, like “five times as hot as the sun” etc: you want to be giving an actual measurement first, like “three thousand degrees C”, then give the simile as a “human figure” afterwards).

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    About Me

    I am a 26-year broadcast news veteran - with nearly 17 years as CNN’s science, aerospace, technology and environment correspondent. I am an active pilot, airplane owner and a lover of all things that fly. I was slated to be the first journalist to fly on the space shuttle before the Columbia accident ended that dream. I am based in New York City - married with two teenagers and two dogs.

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