SpaceX Tests Falcon 9 Landing Rocket Before Big Launch

Mar 12, 2014 02:12 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro


SpaceX is busy testing its Falcon 9 rocket before a scheduled March 16 launch of over 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments heading to the International Space Station.

SpaceX fired up the nine-engines in the first stage of a major preflight run through before this weekend's launch.

The exercise, known as a static fire, is done as a practice for engineers and allows ground crews to address any issues with the rocket before launch day, according to

The upcoming flight is SpaceX's third operational cargo delivery to the ISS under a $1.6 billion commercial resupply contract with NASA.

The agreement covers at least 12 missions set to go to the ISS through 2016.

Most of the 5,000-pound payload had already been packed inside the spacecraft, according to SpaceX.

Launch is set for 4:41 a.m. on March 16 from Cape Canaveral.

Make sure to check back for more information on how the launch went this weekend. 

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