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SpaceX ran a static fire of all 27 engines aboard the 3-million-pound behemoth today in preparation for its maiden voyage to space. The test, conducted in Cape Canaveral, Florida, was originally scheduled for Friday before the government shutdown put things on hold.
First static fire test of Falcon Heavy complete—one step closer to first test flight! pic.twitter.com/EZF4JOT8e4— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 24, 2018
Everything appears to have gone to plan. The engines went off the moment SpaceX’s test window opened, suggesting there weren’t any major hiccups. On Twitter, Elon Musk said the test fire was “good” and that SpaceX will launch the rocket “in a week or so.” That puts it ahead of another potential government shutdown.
Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam. Launching in a week or so. pic.twitter.com/npaqatbNir— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 24, 2018
People who viewed the event were blown away by the sound of the massive engines firing off. Their reactions are priceless.
WOW. Falcon Heavy IS IN BEAST MODE. Goosebumps and celebrations out here. Congrats @SpaceX! (I hope everything went well)— Robin Seemangal (@nova_road) January 24, 2018
My raw video of the #SpaceX Falcon Heavy static-fire at Kennedy Space Center. Come for the cloud plumes, stay for the sound.— Robin Seemangal (@nova_road) January 24, 2018
A French space reporter just yelled "It's like the 4th of July!" pic.twitter.com/vJssukqgIz
The launch of the Falcon Heavy will be a momentous moment in spaceflight history. Comprised of three Falcon 9s strapped together, the Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world—by a lot.
Given the risk of this inaugural flight, SpaceX needed to choose a “dummy payload” rather than an expensive satellite. It went with Musk’s very own midnight cherry Tesla Roadster, which will play “Space Oddity” all the way to the Red Planet. That is, if it makes it off the ground safely.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.