SpaceX’s Falcon 9 spacecraft has completed the full duration orbit insertion firing of the second stage.

Falcon 9 will transfer crew and cargo to the International Space Station once it is operational.

During the 329-second test firing of the second stage, the Merlin Vacuum engine generated 92,500lb of thrust.

The first Falcon 9 flight will be a demonstration to launch a Dragon spacecraft qualification unit into orbit to provide valuable aerodynamic and performance information.

The second flight of the Falcon 9 / Dragon system will be the first flight under Nasa’s commercial orbital transportation services programme.

This was the final stage firing required for launch before the second stage is shipped for launch to Cape Canaveral by end of January 2010.