SpaceX Completes Falcon 9 Static Fire Test Ahead of RADARSAT Launch

SpaceX are set to launch the world's first privately funded mission to the moon.
A Falcon 9 is prepared for launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base on July 25, 2018 | Image credit: SpaceX

SpaceX has confirmed a successful static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket that will carry three Canadian Earth observation satellites to orbit.

The static fire test of the Falcon 9 was completed on June 8 and confirmed by SpaceX on the company’s Twitter account. The rocket is expected to lift off carrying the RADARSAT Constellation at 14:17 UTC on June 12 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

In addition to confirming the static fire test, SpaceX also revealed that the Falcon 9 booster set to be used for Wednesday’s launch is B1051. The booster is flight-proven and was previously used to launch the first demonstration mission of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft in March. The mission was initially slated to be launched aboard B1050. However, after launching the CRS-16 Dragon spacecraft in December 2018, the booster experienced a grid fin hydraulic pump stall on reentry and was damaged after touching down in the ocean.

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission is being launched on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency. The constellation consists of three Earth observation satellites developed by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, a subsidiary of Maxar Technologies. Once operational, the constellation will provide C-band data to the Canadian government and offer maritime surveillance, disaster management, and ecosystem monitoring.

Wednesday’s RADARSAT launch is the last SpaceX mission scheduled to lift off from the West Coast this year. Currently, SpaceX has 11 missions scheduled for the rest of 2019 all of which are to be launched from either Cape Canaveral or the Kennedy Space Center.

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.