In the above video the new Merlin 1D engine is tested at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. The engine will replace the Merlin 1 currently used on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets, allowing for greater power and thrust. In this test the engine was fired for 185 seconds with 147,000 pounds of thrust, the required rate for a Falcon 9 rocket launch.
Nine Merlins will be used in total on the first stage of the Faclon 9 rocket, producing nearly 1.5 million pounds of total thrust. The new design also makes Merlin 1D the most efficient rocket booster ever, further cementing SpaceX’s place as one of the major rising stars in space exploration.
Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and a hero among the All About Space Team, said: “This is another important milestone in our efforts to push the boundaries of space technology. With the Merlin 1D powering the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, SpaceX will be capable of carrying a full range of payloads to orbit.”
The new Merlin 1D engines will fly for the fist time on Falcon 9 Flight 6 in 2013.
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