CANAVERAL NATIONAL SEASHORE, FL – After touch and go wild weather passed over the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, SpaceX engineers at last got the go for fueling and squeezed in a static fire engine test of their reused Falcon 9 booster last this afternoon, June 23, that clears the way for a NASA contracted resupply mission to the International Space Station next week from the Florida Space Coast.
Multiple periods of thunder and rain showers passing over the Cape accompanied by a magnificent water spout backdropped by NASA’s iconic VAB on the Indian River and dark clouds that totally obscured the pad from view for over an hour delayed the critical engine test for about an hour.
Blastoff of the ‘used’ SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon CRS-15 commercial cargo freighter is now slated for dawn Friday, June 29 at 5:42 a.m. EDT (0942 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Dragon CRS-15 is loaded with nearly 3 tons of science and supplies for the six person crew aboard the ISS.
Check out my exclusive Space UpClose photos capturing the test firing, water spout and wild weather this Saturday afternoon, June 23.
The SpaceX team successfully ignited all nine Merlin 1D first stage engines for a brief firing lasting several seconds in duration of the recycled Falcon 9 vehicle at 5:30 p.m. EDT on pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, FL.
SpaceX confirmed the positive test outcome by tweet soon thereafter.
The plume wafted around in the wind and dissipated within 5 minutes. It was somewhat surprising and quite lucky that the stormy weather drifted away for just enough time to conduct the required test.
The 20-foot high, 12-foot-diameter Dragon CRS-15 vessel is jam packed with more than 5,900 pounds (about 2,700 kilograms) of science experiments, research hardware, space parts, food water, clothing and more supplies for the six person Expedition 56 crew.
Vigorous venting observed from the SpaceX Falcon 9 second stage in the final minutes and moments before ignition on June 23. Liftoff on CRS-15 cargo mission set for June 29 from pad 40. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com