SpaceX fires up rocket ahead of March 1 astronaut launch (photos)

 A white and black spacex rocket ignites its engines on the launch pad at night, without leaving the ground.
A white and black spacex rocket ignites its engines on the launch pad at night, without leaving the ground.

SpaceX just notched another milestone ahead of its next astronaut mission.

The company announced early Tuesday morning (Feb. 27) that it had conducted a static fire test with the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. Static fires are common prelaunch trials in which a rocket's engines are ignited briefly while the vehicle is anchored to the pad.

Crew-8 is scheduled to launch from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday (March 1) at 12:04 a.m. EST (0504 GMT), weather permitting. You can watch the action live here at Space.com.

Related: 8 ways SpaceX has transformed spaceflight

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk posted a photo of the static fire on X on Tuesday. The company did so as well via its official X account.

RELATED STORIES:

Russians will fly on SpaceX's Crew-7, Crew-8 astronaut missions: report

SpaceX launches Crew-6 astronaut mission to space station for NASA

SpaceX: Facts about Elon Musk's private spaceflight company

Crew-8 will send four astronauts to the ISS for a roughly six-month stay: NASA's Matthew Dominick (the mission's commander), Michael Barrett (pilot) and Jeannette Epps (mission specialist), and Alexander Grebenkin (mission specialist) of Russia's space agency, Roscosmos.

Crew-8 will be the first mission for this particular Falcon 9. But the Crew Dragon capsule that will carry the four spaceflyers is a veteran. The vehicle, called Endeavour, already has four crewed ISS missions under its belt, including 2020's Demo-2, the first astronaut mission that SpaceX ever flew.