Yesterday, SpaceX conducted a static fire test of their Falcon 9 rocket booster. Today the launch for the tenth Starlink mission and rideshare Black Sky Global 5/6 has been delayed. The new launch date and time is June 26, 2020 at 4:18pm EDT (2018 UTC).
What is a Static Fire Test?
A static fire test includes a wet dress rehearsal and goes one step farther, actually firing the engines at full thrust. The engine (or engines) is fired for a few seconds while the launch vehicle, with or without payload attached, is held firmly attached to the launch mount. This tests engine startup while measuring pressure, temperature and propellant-flow gradients. The data gathered in such tests may be used to form a unique set of criteria. To use as part of the go or nogo decision tree in the automated launch software. Which is used on the actual launch day. Launch day can be a few days later. Some static fire tests have fired the engines for up to twelve seconds. Though shorter firings are more typical.
The Rocket Booster
Making it’s 5th launch and landing attempt, this particular Falcon 9 rocket booster B1051 will be the 3rd Falcon 9 to launch 5 times and possibly the 2nd to land 5 times. We’re in good spirits, with a now 70% GO from the launch mission execution forecast.
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