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SpaceX Completes Falcon Heavy Initial Static Fire Test

28 January, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Kristen Ingram
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The developers posted a video on their social media accounts with a caption that read, "First static fire test of Falcon Heavy complete-one step closer to first test flight!"

Shortly after the extended test firing, Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that it had been successful, as well as a launch date within "a week or so". "Generated quite a thunderhead of steam", Musk tweeted about an hour after the test. "Launching in a week or so".

The Feb. 6 date could shift, as SpaceX also has a Falcon 9 launch on January 30 for Luxemburg satellite manufacture SES on neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Space Launch Complex 40. Meanwhile, the central core booster will continue firing a bit longer before switching off its nine engines to land on a SpaceX recovery barge floating in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Musk, who also heads other ground-breaking companies like The Boring Company and Tesla, announced past year that the Falcon Heavy will first take to the skies carrying a very important payload: his prototype Tesla Roadster.

"The Falcon Heavy engines appeared to fire for more than ten seconds", Spaceflight Now reported.

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

This first simulation signifies that after many years, the Falcon Heavy is ready for takeoff.

In terms of payload delivery to orbit, the Falcon Heavy will have more capacity than any rocket since the Apollo era's Saturn V: as much as 140,000 pounds to low Earth orbit, or 37,000 pounds to Mars.

SpaceX is aiming for a February launch.

For this first launch, the outer rocket cores are refurbished Falcon 9 first-stage boosters from previous launches. But Musk's confirmation gives us something to look forward to that's far more specific.

It's also enough thrust to launch payloads to the Moon or Mars, so the Falcon Heavy is the key component in SpaceX's bigger ambitions.

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