Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Falcon 9 Assembly Nearing Completion

I wasn't sure this website would make it this far, but this is my hundredth post. Hooray! That is, if you don't count posts I've deleted because I mistakenly published them and posts that I've started writing but that haven't been... um... posted yet. But I don't count those, so why should you?

So for my hundredth post, I've decided to take a break from all this catch-up nonsense (keep sucking on that porcupine, NBC) and report on some exciting news that is happening right now.

The progress to SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has steadily proceeded, and after its earlier successful test firing, it is now being assembled for its first launch at Cape Canaveral.

The first stage flight tank arrived at the cape on December 18th, and was lifted off the truck on December 21st. Since then, assembly of the rocket has gone extremely well by all accounts. If no problems crop up, assembly will be complete as soon as today.

Even more exciting for SpaceX, NASA has officially selected them to provide cargo transfer service to the International Space Station using the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and SpaceX's Dragon-class spacecraft. Really, though, this comes as no surprise, since you don't demolish a launch pad unless you have a good reason.

Oh, here's some cool assembly pictures, credit SpaceX. Notice how small those traffic cones are compared to the nine Merlin engines at the bottom of the rocket, and how those in turn are dwarfed by the rocket itself.

Progress: 4.03%  Flight Time: 0:06:05

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