The Space Exploration Technologies Falcon-9 launch vehicle successfully completed to static firing of its first stage nine-engine cluster.

Falcon 9 is a two-stage, rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) and liquid oxygen-powered launch vehicle.

The first stage uses a cluster of nine SpaceX Merlin engines, which generate around a million pounds of thrust for the vehicle upon lift-off.

The Merlin engine is one of the only liquid rocket engines to be designed in the US in the last few decades.

The first stage will be to ship the rocket to SpaceX’s launch site in November 2009 to begin vehicle integration in preparation for first flight.

The inaugural flight will be a demonstration flight and will launch a Dragon spacecraft qualification unit into orbit to provide SpaceX with valuable aerodynamic and performance information.

The Dragon craft will be used to resupply cargo to the International Space Station and transport cargo and crew for low-Earth orbit missions.

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