SpaceX Performs First 'static Fire' Of Falcon Heavy Rocket

Jan 28, 2018, 00:29
SpaceX Performs First 'static Fire' Of Falcon Heavy Rocket

The company conducted a hold-down firing test of the rocket's 27 Merlin 1D main engines at launch pad 39a that generated approximately 5 million pounds of thrust.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has announced a possible flight date for Falcon Heavy on his official Twitter account.

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.

The Falcon Heavy is the largest rocket SpaceX has ever built.

The rocket fired all 27 engines for Wednesday's test.

"Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good". It also has three times more engines.

Over the week and a half between now and the tentative present launch date, SpaceX can be expected to further pore over the vehicle and pad systems to ensure that they are in proper working order after some months of inactivity, punctuated by a controlled explosion. Musk, who also heads other ground-breaking companies like The Boring Company and Tesla, announced a year ago that the Falcon Heavy will first take to the skies carrying a very important payload: his prototype Tesla Roadster.

The very public statement affirmed SES's commitment and faith in SpaceX and the Falcon 9 rocket - which the company will use for a fifth time with SES-16's launch.

Normally, that means sending a concrete mass into orbit, but Musk decided instead to send his original Tesla Roadster into an orbit around the Sun.

SpaceX advertises that the Falcon Heavy will be able to lift 140,660 pounds of cargo to low-Earth orbit, 37,040 pounds to Mars, and 7,720 pounds to Pluto. Musk has repeatedly warned the rocket could explode.

The actual launch of the Falcon Heavy is sure to be stunning. After blasting off from NASA's historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, all three will attempt vertical landings, two on land and one on a floating offshore platform.