Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, confirmed that there will be a launch date for the Falcon Heavy rocket, “in a week or so,” after running a test on all 27 engines on the massive spacecraft. Once Musk announces an official launch date, the promises initially made in 2013 will be fulfilled.
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!”
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy was tested in its own launch side LC-39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The static fire test run consisted in the simulation of the initial launch stage of the rocket; this particular test run was the first time SpaceX fires up 27 simultaneous engines.
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
This first simulation signifies that after many years, the Falcon Heavy is ready for takeoff. It was initially announced in 2011, and it remained for years a goal in SpaceX’s horizon, since there have been several frustrating attempts on test runs in 2015 and 2016, given the fact that the Heavy Falcon is already assembled and ready for takeoff, it is safe to say that failed attempts pushed SpaceX to this point.
On January 24th Elon Musk stated through his official Twitter account that the heavy falcon was ready to go “Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam. Launching in a week or so”.
First static fire test of Falcon Heavy complete—one step closer to first test flight! pic.twitter.com/EZF4JOT8e4
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 24, 2018
The Falcon Heavy can carry massive payloads
The Falcon Heavy carries the largest payload amount since the Saturn V rocket, which carried out a 310,000 pounds into space. The Falcon Heavy has a capacity of 140,660 pounds into lower earth orbit. According to SpaceX, The rocket ship has a high performance rate, which could carry 37,000 pounds into Mars.
SpaceX still faces some uncertainty going forward
Musk stated publicly that the Falcon Heavy’s first passenger will be Tesla’s cherry red roadster, as well as the reason for not sending any live crew. Regardless of the positive test runs results don’t mean assured success for the project.
At 2017’s Washington D.C’s Space Research conference, Elon Musk said “I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage. I would consider even that a win, to be honest.”