SpaceX Falcon Heavy Fired 27 Engines, On Wednesday

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The company confirmed the test fire in a tweet.

There was smoke, there was fire-and, most importantly, nothing on the launch pad appeared to blow up. The booster was originally scheduled to fly in 2014, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk admitted the company had a naive understanding of the flight dynamics of strap-on systems.

The cargo for the test-flight next week will be a Tesla Roadster, one of the popular vehicle models from an electrical motor company owned by Musk.

When launch time does arrive, it will be a nail-biting moment. Musk wrote on Instagram that test launches usually carry mass simulators made of concrete or steel blocks, but that seemed "extremely boring" and he wanted to launch something "unusual".

If the launch goes as well as the static test, the Falcon Heavy's second stage will carry the auto into a Mars-adjacent orbit. "It also impacts critical missions for our customers, including important worldwide allies scheduled to launch shortly from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base, as well as upcoming missions this spring to resupply the global Space Station". SLS advocates counter that there is no guarantee that FH or New Glenn will be successful from either a technical or financial standpoint and NASA needs assurance that it will have the launch capability it needs. That will be a quite a show.

If all goes according to plan, the Falcon Heavy will lift off and enter Earth's orbit, before two of its booster rockets separate off and return to Earth at Cape Canaveral in controlled landings.

It was reported that the "secret spy satellite" failed to maintain its orbit after detaching from SpaceX's rocket.

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The first payload for the Falcon Heavy, however, is just a fun one.

The Falcon Heavy is composed of three nine-engine cores, which together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust. That's a joint venture between legacy aerospace firms Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The post gleefully noted Falcon Heavy is "one step closer to first test flight!" Later versions are planned that would increase performance to 130 MT (286,600 lb), slightly more than NASA's Apollo-era Saturn V rocket, the largest rocket built to date.

Delays beset the static fire test, so we'll stay cautiously optimistic about the launch timeline. The test fire was potentially delayed even more thanks to the government shut down over the weekend.

Apparently, things went well with the test firing.

The rocket is, in fact, years overdue.

The maiden voyage has been a long time coming for SpaceX, with tests promised all the way back in 2013.