After a lot of what must have been frustrating attempts yesterday, SpaceX finally succeeded in doing their hold-down firing today (click here to see the movie from their site). According to Elon:
We were very happy to be able to execute a flight countdown all the way to lighting the engine. Although there wasn’t a launch this time, we made a lot of progress refining the rocket and launch pad — all work that needed to be done anyway. I will post a longer update next week, after we have enough time to finish forensics of recent events and formulate next steps.
I’ve learned the hard way that trying to debug infrastructure that is a long way off from your shop can be a royal pain. I hope though, for their sakes, that they’re able to do a lot of rehersals between now and their next launch. It took us a lot of frustrating trips out to our remote test site where one problem or another with the test stand or test site infrastructure prevented us from testing before we got to the point where we are now.
Good job guys, and good luck!