first_imgSpaceX has a resupply mission to the International Space Station planned for March 1 of this year. The cargo will be carried up in one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets, but the rocket will be powered by the Merlin engines that experienced failure during a launch on October 7 of last year. However, despite an investigation into the engine failure not yet being closed, NASA says SpaceX’s Merlin engines are finally ready to go.During the launch on October 7 of last year, the engine shut down just 79 seconds in, and debris shot from the bottom, which led some to speculate that the engine had actually exploded in some fashion. However, SpaceX said the engine shut down as it was supposed to, and the debris was most likely from the pressure shattering an aerodynamic cover.The Merlin rocket engine, initially designed for sea recovery and reuse, uses liquid oxygen and Rocket Propellant-1 as propellants, and has gone through five revisions and variants so far, with a sixth planned for SpaceX’s upcoming Falcon Heavy space flight system.Mike Suffredini, NASA’s ISS program manager, has reassured everyone that the Merlin engine has undergone heavy testing and everything should be just fine. He said that the units have not been testing beyond their intended usage, and that the teams are “completely satisfied that the right amount of work has been done on these systems.” Hopefully with this amount of new testing the launch shouldn’t be met with failure this time around.last_img

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