"Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) successfully conducted a full mission-length firing of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle's first stage at its McGregor Test Facility in Texas, on November 22. For the static test firing, the first stage remains firmly secured to the massive vertical test stand, where it fired for 178 seconds or nearly three minutes - simulating the climb of the giant rocket from the surface of the Earth towards orbit."
Massive rocket test in McGregor rattles Central Texas, Waco Tribune
"The orange glow seen over McGregor late Saturday night wasnt a bomb explosion or a Martian invasion. Around 10:30 p.m., SpaceX, a private space exploration technologies company, tested its nine-engine Falcon 9 rocket at the McGregor Airport."
This statement was issued to local residents by SpaceX this evening:
"Dear Greater Waco Area Residents,
We appreciate your feedback regarding our recent test as it allows us to improve our notification process to the surrounding community.
Since we began operations in 2003, SpaceX has conducted over 2000 tests, and nearly ten have been multiple engine tests at similar times of day. During these previous tests, we did not receive complaints from citizens in your area. The weather on November 22, with low clouds and cool temperatures, drastically affected the distance the sound and light travelled. We began test procedures for this particular test at 7:00am on Friday, Nov. 21 and executed it as quickly as possible, working through hundreds of pages of procedures designed to keep the community, staff, and hardware safe. While no further tests are planned for this stage in McGregor, in the future we will increase our notification to include local news media and law enforcement in McLennan, Coryell, Bell, and Falls counties.
As a resident of Central Texas for over 25 years, with family in the area, it is extremely important to me, as well as all of SpaceX, who choose to raise their families in the area, that our testing is safe for local residents. The propellants used are non-toxic and environmentally friendly, In factthe Falcon 9 burns a higher grade of kerosene (more environmentally friendly) than a 747 and burns only about half of what a single 747 flight does. The smoke you may have seen was composed mostly of steam and dust.
SpaceX strives to be a good corporate neighbor, bring high technology jobs to the area, and stimulate the local economy. We are proud to have operations in McGregor and make use of facilities which have historically played such an important role in American history. Engines which propelled American astronauts to the moon and back were developed and tested here, as well as the Sidewinder and Phoenix missiles.
The launch vehicle engines tested last night will soon take cargo, and eventually crew, to the International Space Station. Falcon 9 represents the only medium to heavy lift rocket that is 100 percent Made in America and with this vehicleSpaceX will bring leadership in launch back to the US. The leadership role is currently held by former Soviet Republics, France, and China."