“The static fire is one of the last major tests prior to the maiden launch.”

SpaceX tests the engines of the Falcon Heavy

#Space

Sat, Jan 20th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Posed to eventually bring humans to Mars, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy — a rocket powerful enough to lug 54 metric tons into orbit — has had a static fire launch, with a maiden launch expected "sometime within the next two weeks". Above, Elon Musk's car scheduled to be taken to space.

The Falcon Heavy is essentially the equivalent of three smaller Falcon 9 rocket boosters strapped together. With five million pounds of thrust at liftoff, it is twice as powerful as the next largest rocket in existence, the United Launch Alliance's (a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin) Delta IV Heavy. According to SpaceX, the Falcon Heavy’s 27 Merlin engines pump out thrust that’s roughly equivalent to 18 Boeing 747 planes with their engines at full throttle.

The rocket’s first planned payload isn’t astronauts, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster, which is destined to be placed in orbit around Mars. According to Musk, the Roadster will be playing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on repeat during the flight and the car “will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”

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