SpaceX test-fires rocket ahead of Crew-6 astronaut launch for NASA (photos)• https://www.space.com, By Elizabeth Howell
SpaceX's rocket test-fired the rocket for its next astronaut launch early Friday (Feb. 24) in a dress rehearsal to send a new crew into space next week.
A Falcon 9 rocket performed a static fire for SpaceX on Friday (Feb. 24) with its Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule on top. The dress rehearsal was one of the last milestones before SpaceX launches four astronauts on the Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station on Monday (Feb. 27). Liftoff is scheduled for 1:45 a.m. EST (0645 GMT) and you'll be able to watch it live on Space.com.
"While standing on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A in Florida, the rocket's nine Merlin first-stage engines roared to life for seven seconds, completing the routine but critical integrated static fire test," NASA officials wrote of the successful test in a blog post(opens in new tab).
SpaceX's Crew-6 mission will launch NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg to the International Space Station alongside Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev of Roscosmos and United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi.
The Crew Dragon used for this mission is Endeavour, making its four flight after SpaceX's Demo-2 crew test flight in 2020, Crew-2 flight in 2021 and the private Axiom Mission-1 in 2022.
Crew-6 will be SpaceX's seventh crewed mission for NASA (including the Demo-2 demonstration flight) under the agency's commercial crew program, and the ninth time it sent humans to space.
Four SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts stand in a row during their walkout on Feb. 24, 2023 ahead of a dress rehearsal test with their Falcon 9 rocket. Behind them are support personnel in the entranceway to a support building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.