Video: SpaceX Testing: Merlin 1D Engine Firing

SpaceX’s Merlin 1D engine has achieved a full mission duration firing and multiple restarts at target thrust and specific impulse (Isp). The engine firing was for 185 seconds with 147,000 pounds of thrust, the full duration and power required for a Falcon 9 rocket launch. The tests took place at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. The Merlin 1D builds on the proven technology of the Merlin engines used on the first three flights of Falcon 9, including the recent historic mission to the International Space Station.

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Florida, 2 others vie to host new SpaceX launchpad

WASHINGTON — A record-breaking mission to the International Space Station has triggered another space race back on Earth, with Florida competing against Texas and Puerto Rico for the chance to land a new launchpad for SpaceX and its ambitious line of Falcon rockets.

The rivalry — already ongoing — only has intensified in the weeks since SpaceX became the first commercial company to blast a spacecraft to the station and return it safely to Earth. And though none of the rivals has made public the incentives each is offering, the numbers are certain to be in the millions of dollars.

The stakes are high: hundreds of good-paying jobs at SpaceX and supporting companies that would pop up around its operation, as well as the prestige — at a time when NASA is no longer flying its own rockets — of serving as home to the commercial space industry’s most successful startup.

Read more here.


Video: Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 for NASA

The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule lift off May 22, 2012, from Cape Canaveral Air Force station in Florida to begin a demonstration mission to the International Space Station.

Elon Musk on the Business Case for Mars

Elon Musk of SpaceX recently spoke at a symposium on space travel and outlined his vision for the colonization of Mars.

I think he’s right on the money.

SpaceX Eyeing Manned Space Flight

Fresh on the heels of a very successful 2010 for SpaceX, they’re moving ahead with their plans for manned spaceflight.

According to the LA Times:

After becoming the first private company ever to blast a spacecraft into Earth orbit and have it return intact last month, Hawthorne rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is pushing toward its next big step.

The company known as SpaceX wants to be the first commercial firm to launch astronauts into outer space and has submitted a proposal to NASA.

SpaceX wants in on the potentially multibillion-dollar job of ferrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station after the space shuttle is retired this year. The company is already building rockets and capsules to deliver cargo to the station.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program hopes to award about $200 million in seed money in March to companies to develop rockets and spacecraft for the next step in manned spaceflight after the shuttle. Several aerospace companies, including SpaceX and aerospace giant Boeing Co., have submitted proposals.


Very exciting times for space travel! Can’t wait to see what SpaceX has in store!

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch From the Perspective of the Rocket

Here’s another great video of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch today from Florida. It features the launch then switches to the on board camera and follows all the way into orbit. It’s awesome. Amazing.

Video: Watch SpaceX Launch Falcon 9 w/ Dragon Capsule

SpaceX made history today by launching its first reusable space capsule in a successful test. Here’s a video of the launch.

Pretty amazing feat. Everyone at SpaceX should be very proud. Releases Infographic on Dragon Space Capsule has put together a great infographic that details the feautres and capabilities of the Dragon Space Capsule developed by SpaceX.

See it below:

An inside look at SpaceX's Dragon capsule that will fly to the International Space Station on the Falcon 9 rocket.

Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

Breaking News: SpaceX to Launch Dragon Capsule Tomorrow

According to SpaceX’s Twitter account, they will launch the first unmanned Dragon Capsule tomorrow morning sometime between 8am and Noon EST.

The plan is to launch the capsule, fly it around the earth a couple times and re-enter it.

Here’s some details from Spaceflight Now:

SpaceX plans to launch a robotic space capsule, fly it around the world two times, then order the craft back home Wednesday in a whirlwind test flight to demonstrate the ship’s readiness to NASA.

The mission is scheduled to last three-and-a-half hours after originating from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Splashdown of the Dragon spacecraft will occur in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles off the west coast of northern Mexico and California.

Liftoff from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 is scheduled for a launch window opening at 9 a.m. EST and closing at 12:22 p.m. EST (1400-1722 GMT) Wednesday.

We’ll have pictures and videos as soon as they’re available. I’m not sure what they’re planning yet, but Spaceflight Now will probably stream the launch live.

UPDATE: I’ve just confirmed that SpaceX will have a live webcast of the launch on their website starting at 8:15am EST. SpaceX Website.