Watch a rocket engine test live this afternoon

If you want to see something awesome this afternoon, watch SpaceX’s live broadcast of an engine test today at 3:00 pm EDT/12:00 pm PDT/7:00 pm GMT. You’ll see nine Merlin rocket engines power up to full thrust during a test for the upcoming launch of a Dragon space capsule to the ISS.

This is just a static test – hopefully the nine Merlin engines won’t go anywhere. To get an idea of the power behind these engines this is a test of just  Merlin engine being fired at the SpaceX open house in Texas a year or so ago. Today, nine engines will be fired at once.

Check out the videos after the break to see just how awesome the Falcon 9 is going to be.

via boingboing


  1. viper2475 says:


  2. Cobalt says:

    Will be wacthing :)

  3. Drool says:

    I have that same pic as my desktop wallpaper. Drool!

  4. Chris says:

    With regards to the second vid, I for one welcome our new insect overlords!

  5. echodelta says:

    There is no PM in GMT. Test at 1900 GMT! Here in Indiana we still don’t know what time it is, we are in the wrong zone and only recently went on Daniel’s Stupid Time. As protest I use GMT.
    Awareness of World Time is necessary is this global age. Business can’t run on confusion. If they can change the time, we simply can use world time and reschedule everything.

  6. th3BadWolf says:

    This is the webcast adress.

  7. Dino says:

    Looks like they’re on a hold @0:47….. :(

  8. Eric says:

    Thanks for the link! Currently watching and waiting for 47 seconds to pass!

  9. Phonogramm says:

    the longest 47 seconds of my life ^^

  10. Eric says:

    Now waiting 13 minutes… :/

  11. Nick says:

    Looks like things did not go as planned. However listening to the controllers resolving the problem has been interesting.

  12. MusashiAharon says:

    Yay! Countdown resumed. Holding at T-7:00.

  13. eldorel says:

    that was a bit lackluster.

    I wish they had used a more interesting camera angle, like the shots nasa posts from below.

  14. Ashaman99 says:

    that was it?!?!

  15. st2000 says:

    Hum, all of about 2 seconds of smoke. Hum.

  16. Kit Scuzz says:

    Awwww, bummer… looks like the test has been cancelled. I suppose that’s why they run these tests though!

    Man, look at how fast they cut the entirety of their outward facing site: The live stream blacked out less than 5 minutes after the launch failed, and the twitter account is now protected. The main page no longer has a link to the webcast!

    That is a dedicated and well-trained PR team.

    • Kit Scuzz says:

      Aaaaand I now realize that the static fire link is still up, it was my computer being dumb is that I couldn’t see it.

      The twitter account is @SpaceX (linked to on the front page) not @SpaceXMissions (the one linked to on the webcast page).

      The @SpaceX says “SUCCESS – 2 second burn!” so maybe they were only doing a 2 second run??

      That seems like a lot of hype for only 2 seconds of action, but maybe they couldn’t build a mechanism to hold down that much thrust for a longer period?

    • Kit Scuzz says:

      Apparently this was *JUST* a hold down test… I think.

      From @elonmusk: “Woohoo, rocket hold down firing completed and all looks good!!”

      It sounds like there’s a full burn (or at least something more interesting looking) on May 7th. There are a bunch of follow-up tweets talking about “waiting until the 7th.”

      • Ashaman99 says:

        Let me check my calendar to make sure I have 2 hrs and 45 sec to burn (yep, funny!) on the 7th………..(the 45 sec being for the actual interesting part…)

  17. Jeff says:

    executive summary for those that missed the launch: (80 minute delay) ppppsh. poof. SPACEX! (fade to black)

  18. Bradley says:

    I heard “Abort” in a couple strings phrases when it failed. Hmm… I’m missing the shuttle already!

  19. Dino says:

    It was a successful test and it was supposed to last only 2 seconds.

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