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SpaceX gets ready for Falcon 9 test launch

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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo: SpaceX

CALIFORNIA (BNS): SpaceX is all set for the first test launch attempt of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle on Friday.

The launch window will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

"We are now looking good for final approval of the FTS by this Friday ... just in time for our first launch attempt," SpaceX said Tuesday in a company statement.

The primary schedule driver for the first Falcon 9 test launch has been certified by the flight termination system (FTS). The FTS ensures that Air Force Range safety officials can command the destruction of the vehicle, if it strays from its designated flight path.

NASA has supported SpaceX with $278 million to develop and test the Falcon 9 and also the Dragon capsule for use in transporting cargo to the International Space Station. If SpaceX is successful, it could benefit from $1.6 billion in supply contracts through 2016, a media report said.

The primary focus is to collect maximum data at the first test launch. The mission success will be measured as a percentage of how many flight milestones it will be able to complete in this first attempt.

SpaceX has completed the end testing of the Falcon 9 in the required standards of Air Force Range. After finishing the final system connections for the FTS the mission will roll-out on Friday morning for the launch.

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