SpaceX tests 5 MILLION lb supersonic rocket

by Abel Hampton January 27, 2018, 11:07
SpaceX tests 5 MILLION lb supersonic rocket

Wednesday's static fire test was the culmination of a month-long series of fit checks, fueling tests and other preparatory work at pad 39A since the Falcon Heavy was first raised vertical at the facility December 28.

A date for the launch has not yet been revealed.

The long-awaited Static Fire of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket has been declared a success by SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

Update 2: SpaceX posted video of the test on YouTube - check your speaker volume before pressing play.

The cargo for the test-flight next week will be a Tesla Roadster, one of the popular auto models from an electrical motor company owned by Musk. But before a static fire test can take place, the rocket must be fueled. The company didn't immediately release details regarding the 27 Merlin engines' performance in the three boosters.

"Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on ascent", Musk, the famed space enthusiast and Internet tycoon, said on Twitter last month.

Technicians at pad 39A finished upgrading the launch complex for the Falcon Heavy after the most recent Falcon 9 launch there October 30.

After first being announced in 2011, the rocket's first flight was set for 2013.

The Heavy — a triple-size version of SpaceX's frequent flier, the Falcon 9 — is tailor-made for spacecraft headed to the moon or Mars, as well as extra-big satellites bound for low-Earth orbit. It appears that the test was successful, but have yet to get full confirmation from SpaceX.

The auto is also a payload that Musk can afford to lose: Last July, he said there's a significant chance that the maiden launch could go awry. I hope it makes it far enough beyond the pad so that it does not cause pad damage. "I would consider even that a win, to be honest". The craft is a remarkable and significant technological leap forward in space flight, and it is the most powerful all-liquid propulsion rocket to sit on Pad 39A since the Saturn V in the 1970s.

Two of the three Heavy boosters have launched before. It is anticipated the 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon Heavy will be lowered and rolled back into its hangar for some final checks before being returned to its launch pad for the test flight later this week. The vehicle will be sent in an elongated orbit that will take it out into the Solar System, near Mars.

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