SpaceX conducts tanking test on In-Flight Abort Falcon 9

December 22, 2017 – 10:04 am

2015-04-10-125238As preparations continue for next week’s Falcon 9 launch of the CRS-6 Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, SpaceX’s Vandenberg team has put the In-Flight abort booster through a tanking test. The unique Falcon 9 – sporting just three engines – will be tasked with lofting a Dragon 2 test vehicle into the Max-Drag region of ascent, before conducting an abort scenario.


CRS-6:

Preparations for this launch have proceeded relatively smoothly, as the flow milestones press toward the Static Fire Test – which occurred on Saturday within a four hour window that opened at 14:00 local time.

Numerous requirements have to be successfully proven via such a test, such as engine ignition and shut down commands, all of which have to operate as designed.

The test involved a full propellant loading sequence, launch countdown operations, engine ignition operations and testing of the pad’s high volume water deluge system – providing a full dress rehearsal for the actual launch.

Following a short burst of the Merlin 1Ds, controllers then gathered the required engine and vehicle data, before they detanked the rocket and lowered the vehicle on to the Transporter Erector ahead of rolling back to the hanger.

2015-04-10-142222While recycle opportunities were available within the Static Fire test window, the launch day countdown will be targeting an instantaneous T-0 to allow Dragon to begin her pursuit of the ISS in a timely fashion.

Should the Static Fire test data prove to be acceptable, the launch date target will be confirmed at the Launch Readiness Review (LRR) over the weekend. The current target is 16:33 local time on Monday, with a backup slot of 16:10 local time available on Tuesday.

2015-04-10-142435The CRS-6 Falcon 9 is sporting landing legs and grid fins in expectation of the latest attempt to land the first stage on the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS) that will be stationed off the Florida coastline.

SpaceX will then push towards the next mission, involving the launch of the TurkmenSat 1 spacecraft, which is currently scheduled to take place on April 24 – pending the successful launch of the CRS-6 Dragon on Monday or Tuesday.

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Source: www.nasaspaceflight.com

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