Published: Sun, January 28, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

SpaceX s rocket Falcon Heavy completes hold down firing test

SpaceX s rocket Falcon Heavy completes hold down firing test

The February 6 date was rumored late this past week, and SpaceX had previously said they were aiming to have the launch take place roughly a week after their successful static test fire of the rocket, which took place on January 24. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam.

And it has some symbolism since the Roadster is considered by many EV enthusiasts as the vehicle that launched the EV revolution.

The world's most powerful rocket finally has a date for its debut: February 6.

For this first launch, the outer rocket cores are refurbished Falcon 9 first-stage boosters from previous launches. It's constructed by strapping three of SpaceX's proven Falcon 9 rockets together, which provides around 5 million pounds of thrust at takeoff. More impressive that the output of the platform however, is that Musk claims each Falcon Heavy launch will cost less than a third of the price of a Delta IV launch, which is now the most powerful operational platform in use today. SpaceX points out that it could put a Boeing 737 jetliner in orbit, fully loaded with passengers, luggage and fuel.

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

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SpaceX intends to land the rocket's boosters back on Earth after launch - as is the company's usual practice today with the Falcon 9 - and that necessarily negates some performance.

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.

Like Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy is created to be reusable and both platforms share SpaceX's composite payload fairing that protects satellites during delivery to low-Earth orbit and geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.

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