Falcon 9 Up, Then Down, at LC 40
After only a few days on the launch pad, the first Falcon 9 will leave Launch Complex 40 in pieces.
Having tested and proven the technique for raising the rocket to vertical, SpaceX workers will disassemble the 188-foot rocket and ship it back to California and Texas for testing.
“Now it’s more execution than design,” Tim Buzza, vice president of launch operations for Space Exploration Technologies Corp. said Monday. “We’re well-positioned to see the entire site come together in the next couple of months.”
New SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket tests its Cape Canaveral pad
Engineers removed the first Falcon 9 rocket from its launch pad Monday, concluding the first round of pathfinder tests for the launcher and ground systems at the oceanfront complex.
The black-and-white rocket was lowered from Complex 40 Monday afternoon after spending two days atop the pad. The Falcon 9, which weighs more than 30,000 pounds empty, was raised vertically around midday Saturday for two days of fit checks.