SpaceX Performs First 'static Fire' Of Falcon Heavy Rocket

SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket test firing goes off without a hitch

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!"

He added that the mega-rocket's maiden launch could be just a week away or so.

"Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good", Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, announced on Twitter. "Launching in a week or so".

When it launches, the Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful rocket in operation with 5 million pounds of thrust, but not the most powerful rocket ever. It will take off from launchpad 39A, which once launched Apollo and Space Shuttle missions.

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.

SpaceX expects the Falcon Heavy to eventually ferry crew and cargo between Earth and Mars.

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The Falcon 9 is now used to hoist satellites and supplies to the International Space Station.

The Falcon Heavy will have double the thrust of the next biggest rocket out there today, according to Musk.

The rocket' first passenger will be Musk's very own cherry red Tesla Roadster which, all going well, should reach Mars orbit.

"I love the thought of a auto drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future", Musk wrote. "Easy viewing from the public causeway".

The company now only operates the Falcon 9 rocket, which consists of a core first stage booster and a second stage. It is likely that the main goal of Falcon Heavy's extended static fire was to ensure that SpaceX had developed a safe and functional method of igniting all 27 engines without damaging itself, a real risk from the torque of each engine's turbopump operating in the same orientation.