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NASA certifies current version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rockets for science missions

NASA has certified the current version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 to launch some categories of science missions. The move is seen as a milestone needed for the upcoming, but delayed, launch of an astronomy spacecraft, Space.com reported. NASA disclosed the certification in its full fiscal year 2019 budget proposal, released on February 14, in a section about NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP). It said that in January 2018, SpaceX successfully completed ‘Category 2’ certification of the SpaceX Falcon 9 ‘Full Thrust’ which supports the launch of the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission in March 2018. The following page, however, stated that certification of that version of the Falcon 9 “is nearing completion.” Still, agency spokesperson Cheryl Warner said February 15 that LSP completed the Category 2 certification of the rocket January 11.