SpaceX performs first 'static fire' of Falcon Heavy rocket


Los Angeles-based SpaceX successfully test fired its first Falcon Heavy - the world's most powerful rocket.

In a Twitter post, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Falcon Heavy static fire test was a success, and that the rocket's debut flight could be just a week away.

If the rocket successfully makes it to orbit, each booster in the Heavy's triple-stack is created to disengage and reorient for atmospheric reentry and hopeful landing inside the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, or at sea via mobile landing ships named ASDS (Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship).

"Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity". The company relies on personnel from NASA's Kennedy Space Center and the US Airforce's Space Wing to oversee operations.

SpaceX is the only rocket maker in the world that lands boosters after orbital launches. However, in order to properly conduct the test, SpaceX needs help from the US Air Force, and the government shutdown means numerous people involved in the test won't be showing up to work.

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As a private entity, SpaceX is under no obligation to use their most precious commodity to test independent projects or serve other scientific objectives, but once it has demonstrated a proven reliability, it will likely be tasked with multitude of missions serving both the private and federal sectors-perhaps even carrying astronauts.

On Sept. 1, 2016, a Falcon 9 rocket on pad 40 at the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station exploded in a spectacular fireball five minutes before a planned static firing, destroying a $200 million communications satellite and heavily damaging the pad. That hot fire could come in the next few days, and usually only one such test is required before flight.

"Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good".

"I want to make sure to set expectations accordingly".

Two of the three Heavy boosters have launched before. I hope it makes it far enough beyond the pad so that it does not cause pad damage.