Falcon Heavy test-fired at Kennedy Space Center

Photo: Spaceflight Now (Fair Use)

On Thursday, SpaceX test-fired the 27 main engines of a Falcon Heavy rocket in Florida, successfully clearing a major hurdle before installing three commercial communications satellites for a mission to geostationary orbit next week.

The test-firing lasted less than 10 seconds, during which the Falcon Heavy rocket’s 27 Merlin 1D main engines generated approximately 5.1 million pounds of thrust.

The static fire test was completed without the rocket’s payload fairing or the three satellites, Spaceflight reported.

SpaceX’s launch team supervised a 50-minute automated countdown sequence to load propellants into the rocket, and control of the countdown passed from a ground computer to the rocket’s flight computer at T-minus 1 minute.

The rocket will now be rolled back to the hangar to install the payload compartment before returning to pad 39A to be raised vertically for the launch attempt next Tuesday.

The mission remains on track for liftoff during a 57-minute launch window.

Written by staff