SpaceX Trumpets Test Firing

Hawthorne-based SpaceX, the high profile commercial space vehicle firm headed by Elon Musk, said this weekend that it has successfully conducted a full mission-length firing of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle's first stage. According to the firm, the launch test validated the design of its first stage, as well as ability to shut down the engines without affecting the remaining engines in the rocket. The firm's test occurred 10:30 Saturday night at the firm's MacGregor, Texas test site. SpaceX said it will be moving its first Falcon 9 flight vehicle to Cape Canaveral in the next few months; the firm successfully launched the Falcon 1 in September. SpaceX is competing for a NASA contract to transport supplies to and from the International Space Station. The company is venture backed by The Founders Fund and by Elon Musk himself.