SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket passes crucial test, launch date imminent

Posted January 28, 2018

In fact, in a Twitter post, SpaceX/Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Heavy's hotfire test, which involved firing for about 10 seconds all of the rocket's 27 Merlin 1D main engines (nine on each of its three main boosters) at once, while the rocket was securely attached to a launch pad, was a success, and that the rocket's first flight could be just a week away.

The Falcon Heavy is basically three Falcon 9 rockets - SpaceX's workhorse of a launcher - strapped together, giving it the ability to launch larger payloads than SpaceX has ever been able to haul before, to destinations like Mars.

"Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good". "Launching in a week or so". It will take off from launchpad 39A, which once launched Apollo and Space Shuttle missions.

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 notes that there will be "Easy viewing from the public causeway".

After going through multiple delays, it was finally time for what is touted as the world's most powerful rocket to complete its static firing test.

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.

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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.

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

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

NASA's Saturn V moon rocket, used during the late 1960s and early 1970s, will still top the charts.

The 229-foot-tall rocket has a new core stage and two previously-flown side boosters that will run on kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants. 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.