Orbital, SpaceX prepare to take their place in U.S. space program

01/7/2010 | Popular Mechanics

Following a successful ignition test on Jan. 2, SpaceX expects to deliver its Merlin Vacuum engine to Cape Canaveral next month in preparation for a spring launch of the Falcon 9 rocket that will help to supply the International Space Station. Further successful tests this year by SpaceX and its competitor, Orbital Sciences, will likely cement the role of private companies in the U.S. space program.

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