SpaceX Performs First 'static Fire' Of Falcon Heavy Rocket

Octaweb engine configuration

SpaceX's three-core Falcon Heavy rocket roared to life during a brief test firing of its engines at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, giving teams much-needed performance data ahead of its highly anticipated demonstration flight.

The Feb. 6 date could shift, as SpaceX also has a Falcon 9 launch on January 30 for Luxemburg satellite manufacture SES on neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Space Launch Complex 40.

"Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam", Musk tweeted about an hour after the test. "Launching in a week or so".

Falcon Heavy looks like three Falcon 9 cores strapped together, but that's a simplification - Musk said teams had to strengthen the airframe to account for thrust changes, re-examine aerodynamics and account for altered acoustics thanks to three time as many engines as a typical Falcon 9 mission. The new Falcon Heavy is equipped with two additional Falcon 9 first stages. The first static-fire test of all 27 engines took place successfully on Wednesday.

The Falcon Heavy can carry the biggest payload since the Apollo lunar programme's Saturn V - and is viewed as an essential step in Musk's plan to establish a human colony on Mars.

Turkey's president Erdogan says campaign against Kurds in Syria will continue
He warned he may send military troops to target Kurds outside the Afrin region, and expand operations to the Turkey-Iraq border. At least 286 civilians have been killed in the crossfire in the past month alone, according to figures from the Observatory.

The 229-foot-tall rocket has a new core stage and two previously-flown side boosters that will run on kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants.

It is created to carry large payloads to orbit and could eventually take people to the Moon or Mars.

NASASpaceFlight reports SpaceX is preparing for a possible launch on February 6, with a backup date of February 7.

Despite all of SpaceX's preparations, Musk has acknowledged that the success of the first launch is not assured.

At 2017's Washington D.C's Space Research conference, Elon Musk said "I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage".

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