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SpaceX check fires Falcon Heavy, probably the most highly effective rockets ever

SpaceX check fires Falcon Heavy, probably the most highly effective rockets ever

The company unveiled the Falcon Heavy rocket in December. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam.

- SpaceX is targeting February 6 for the test flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket that will rumble across the Space Coast as the most powerful launch vehicle of today, Elon Musk announced on social media Saturday. "Easy viewing from the public causeway".

If all goes as planned, Musk's Roadster will wind up in a long, elliptical orbit around the sun, stretching as far out as the orbit of Mars.

The actual launch of the Falcon Heavy is sure to be stunning.

Footage of the test fire shows the eruption of a massive cloud of exhaust and steam swallowing NASA's historic Launch Pad 39A while the Heavy's engines give off a deafening roar. It's constructed by strapping three of SpaceX's proven Falcon 9 rockets together, which provides around 5 million pounds of thrust at takeoff.

The 229-foot-tall rocket has a new core stage and two previously-flown side boosters that will run on kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants.




By comparison, the liftoff thrust of the Falcon Heavy equals approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power.

"There's a lot of risk associated with the Falcon Heavy; real good chance that vehicle doesn't make it to orbit", during a talk in July 2017.

Comparison chart of the world's heavy lift vehicles, based on historical launch data.

SpaceX originally meant to launch the rocket in 2013 or 2014, but has continually pushed the date back.

Wednesday's static fire is one of the last major tests for the rocket before its maiden flight, expected to occur sometime within the next two weeks.

SpaceX plans to start building its first BFR by mid year. In comparison, the company's Falcon 9 rocket, used to launch Zuma and to deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station, only has nine engines.

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