Hold-down firing nudges Falcon Heavy rocket closer to first liftoff

Taxpayers Likely to Foot Billion-Dollar Bill After SpaceX Crash

SpaceX could test Falcon Heavy engine as soon as Wednesday

At a launchpad in Florida, technicians for Elon Musk's upstart rocket company are preparing for the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy, whose 27 engines will produce a total of more than 5 million pounds of thrust.

The Falcon Heavy's first stage was successfully tested past year, but the forthcoming static fire will mark the first time the full compliment of the rocket's engines have been tested.

The company is scheduled January 30 to launch a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral in Florida, the report added.

In a tweet after today's test, Elon Musk said the Falcon Heavy launch could potentially take place in about a week. The likelihood of explosions didn't stop the entrepreneur from loading his own midnight cherry red Tesla Roadster into the nosecone as a test payload.

He has also warned that there is a possibility the rocket could explode.

That's great news, because the test launch was already postponed from late previous year, and then it looked like it might be even more delayed owing to the government shutdown, which affected SpaceX's ability to launch from Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX now has scheduled a Falcon 9 launch from nearby Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for January 30.

If the launch goes as well as the static test, the Falcon Heavy's second stage will carry the auto into a Mars-adjacent orbit.

The Falcon Heavy was created to carry humans into space and restore the possibility of flying missions with crews to the Moon or Mars. I want to make sure to set expectations accordingly'.

SpaceX says it has the most powerful rocket in the world.

SpaceX already has a contract to use the giant rocket to fly two unidentified individuals around the moon next year. Musk has previously shown images of Tesla being prepared for the launch with Falcon Heavy. Musk said the first Falcon Heavy's engines will be throttled to 92 percent of full power. SpaceX later clarified that the Heavy will aim for an orbit around the sun that will, at times, put the auto the same distance from the sun as Mars. That's enough to get 140,000 pounds into Earth's orbit, a little under three times the payload of a Falcon 9. Now he admits that putting together the Falcon Heavy proved more daunting than he initially thought.

The Heavy is like a Falcon 9 with two more 9-engine boosters strapped on.

Its collection of 27 engines generated five million pounds of thrust which will be used to send a Tesla Roadster into an orbit around Mars.

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