SpaceX - Falcon Heavy Demo - Mike Killian Photography

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The debut of SpaceX's 230-foot-tall Falcon Heavy, one of the most highly-anticipated rockets in history. With ignition of its 27 engines and liftoff from historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Falcon Heavy took the crown as the most powerful operational rocket in the world, twice as powerful as the now runner-up ULA Delta-IV Heavy.

On liftoff the launcher rolled and took a trajectory due East on a 90 degree azimuth, deploying Elon Musk's midnight cherry Tesla roadster, and sending it on a hyperbolic orbit while playing “Space Oddity” – simply because they can. They even put a test dummy in the driver seat, named "Starman", and fitted him with an actual spacesuit that astronauts flying on SpaceX's Crew Dragon will be wearing once those missions start flying in the coming year.

The Tesla was used to simulate the weight of an actual customer payload (like a satellite), and being that Elon owns Tesla, they put a Tesla onboard.

They landed both the side boosters back on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station too, where their Landing Zones 1 and 2 are located, bringing with them 6 sonic booms to announce their return to Earth.

The center core did not survive its intended offshore landing, but that's what flight tests are for!



The era of the FALCON HEAVY has begun, congratulations to SpaceX!



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Coverage provided for AmericaSpace.com

STATIC TEST FIRE

Before SpaceX could launch Falcon Heavy, as is their standard practice, they wanted to do a full Wet Dress Rehearsal (a practice countdown) and static test fire of the rocket's 27 engines. Falcon Heavy first rose atop pad 39A on December 28, 2017, followed by several weeks of various tests, fit checks, propellant loading and troubleshooting of various issues before clearing the way for the test fire on January 24, 2018.

T-1 day to launch - February 5, 2018

LAUNCH DAY - FEBRUARY 6, 2018

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