SpaceX check fires Falcon Heavy, probably the most highly effective rockets ever

SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket test firing goes off without a hitch

Musk hopes to use the Falcon Heavy to send tourists around the Moon, and to send supplies to Mars for a manned mission.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket - the self-proclaimed "most powerful rocket in the world" - completed its static fire test on Wednesday afternoon, paving the way for its inaugural test flight before the end of the month.

The Falcon Heavy rocket now sits upright on a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center.

The first payload for the Falcon Heavy, however, is just a fun one. "Generated quite a thunderhead of steam", Musk tweeted about an hour after the test. "Launching in a week or so".

Commenting on yesterday's (January 24, 2018) static test firing, company CEO Elon Musk used social media to say: "Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good".

The megarocket successfully ignited all of its 27 engines at once.

This now paves the way for a data review and an L-2 (Launch -2 day) Launch Readiness Review that will likely clear the Falcon 9 for launch of the SES payload. It's called the BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket, an eight stories tall, re-usable 42-engine rocket that will replace both Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, as well as the Dragon spacecraft. It also has three times more engines. However, Musk has said that the rocket could fail on its debut test flight.

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As confirmed by SpaceX in December 2017, flight-proven boosters, once returned to land, do not go back to McGregor, Texas, for additional testing following their first flights but are instead refurbished and put through a longer static fire to verify booster health and performance.

He specified that it is the "no earlier than" date and that it could still change, but as of right now, it is the planned launch date. Last week, a SpaceX manager said the company will meet all necessary government requirements.

The SpaceX CEO has said the auto will remain in "deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on ascent".

The Falcon Heavy will be minus its featured load for the test. But Musk's confirmation gives us something to look forward to that's far more specific. "Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another", he promised.

Like Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy is created to be reusable and both platforms share SpaceX's composite payload fairing that protects satellites during delivery to low-Earth orbit and geosynchronous transfer orbit. The rocket would also become NASA's preferred way of reaching the moon or Mars with a crew astronauts. But none of it was reusable.

The company now only operates the Falcon 9 rocket, which consists of a core first stage booster and a second stage.


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