Space flight is about to get a whole lot more exciting. Leading private space company SpaceX took a huge step towards launching their Falcon Heavy today test firing the engines on the launchpad.
The company posted a video of the test on Twitter along with the words “First static fire test of Falcon Heavy complete—one step closer to first test flight!”.
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 launch was given a tentative January date at the back end of last year. While there still isn’t a confirmed launch date this test puts it just about on track. Tweeting about the test Elon Musk said, “Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam. Launching in a week or so”.
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
The launch will take place on the historic launchpad 39A at the Kennedy Space Complex. The pad is where NASA launched the Saturn V rockets used in the Apollo moon space program and more recently the now retired Space Shuttle. In modern times it has been used by SpaceX to launch their Falcon 9 rockets.
Musk has previously confirmed that the payload aboard the Falcon Heavy will be Musk’s own midnight cherry red Tesla Roadster. If that wasn’t cool enough it will be blasting out David Bowie’s Space Oddity… because why not! He expects it will remain in space for a billion years. That’s if it makes it through the launch unscathed. Musk has been surprisingly candid about the chances of success for this maiden launch in the past.
After launching the Falcon 9 rockets will detach from each other before returning to earth to be reused in the future. To get an idea of how the launch might go check out the animation from SpaceX below.