There’s something really satisfying about watching a 14-story-tall rocket burn a million pounds of thrust standing still.
At its Central Texas facility, SpaceX tested the Falcon 9 first-stage rocket booster for two-and-a-half minutes. This rocket’s had a busy few months: It launched from Cape Canaveral on May 6 and re-entered the atmosphere at nearly 4,000 mph to land safely on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. It’ll hang out in Texas for a few more tests, but won’t fly again. It’s just acting as a very large guinea pig for another, less-worn Falcon 9 first stage booster that launched and landed April.