SpaceX fired up its newest, biggest rocket for a test run of its engines on Wednesday at Kennedy Space Center. American Eastern Standard Time for about 10 seconds, spewing violent exhaust and steam, a video on SpaceX's official twitter showed.
The 5.1 million pounds of thrust that will eventually propel Falcon Heavy off the pad will make it the most powerful rocket in the world, expanding SpaceX's manifest to heavier, more complicated payloads. It is likely that the main objective of Falcon Heavy's extended static fire was to ensure that SpaceX had developed a safe and functional method of igniting all 27 engines without damaging itself, a real risk from the torque of each engine's turbopump operating in the same orientation. The rocket will launch no earlier than February 6th, with a window of 1:30 PM ET to 4:30 PM ET.
That project will require an even larger rocket than Falcon Heavy, though.
Last month, Musk announced the plan on Twitter to some skepticism, but it was confirmed a few weeks later with pictures of the Roadster installed on a SpaceX payload attach fitting - pictured above.
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The very public statement affirmed SES's commitment and faith in SpaceX and the Falcon 9 rocket - which the company will use for a fifth time with SES-16's launch.
"I love the thought of a vehicle drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future", Musk wrote. Musk, who also heads other ground-breaking companies like The Boring Company and Tesla, announced past year that the Falcon Heavy will first take to the skies carrying a very important payload: his prototype Tesla Roadster. Musk said in July that developing the new rocket has proven more challenging than expected.
The Falcon Heavy is a reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle.
Launch viewing tickets through Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex went on sale Thursday and quickly sold out for the closest "Feel the Heat" spots at the Apollo/Saturn V Center.