On 25 June Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) conducted a full launch dress rehearsal and hold-down firing of its Falcon 1 flight-three vehicle at its Kwajalein Atoll launch site in the Pacific.

It is the first launch pad firing of SpaceX's new Merlin 1C regeneratively cooled engine, which operated at full power during the test. The test was the final step before the rocket's launch. The launch window opens on 29 July and runs until 6 August.

It will launch the US Department of Defense's operationally responsive space office's Jumpstart programme's Trailblazer satellite. The rocket's secondary payloads include an adapter system developed by the Malaysian government, which holds two small NASA satellites.

SpaceX's flight-one Falcon 1 flew on 24 March 2006, crashing after 29s of flight because of a fuel leak fire. Its second launch vehicle's upper stage failed to achieve orbit after reaching 320km (200 miles) on 20 March 2007.

Source: Flight International