SpaceX's Falcon Heavy completes final test before anticipated launch in February

in #space3 years ago (edited)

All eyes were on SpaceX and the Falcon Heavy rocket yesterday as it completed its first static fire test on January 24. A static fire test is where a launch vehicle is brought to its intended launch pad to fire the engines at full capacity whilst the rocket is firmly attached to the launchpad. This is done to measure pressure, temperature and propellant-flow gradients to check whether everything is go for launch.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launchpad 39A.png
Falcon Heavy during the static fire test at NASA Kennedy Space Centre
image credit: SpaceX image source

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, took to Twitter shortly after the event to share that everything looked as it should.

Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam. Launching in a week or so.

  • Elon Musk, Twitter 24. January

This means that already in a week, we could see the first ever launch of the Falcon Heavy! An event that has been highly anticipated by the whole global space community.

So what's so exciting about the Falcon Heavy?

The Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world, twice as powerful as the Delta IV Heavy which comes in second. What this means in practice, is that we will have reusable rockets capable of sending large communications satellites to geosynchronous orbit. If you have watched SpaceX's launches over the past year, you will know that some launches have not attempted to land the booster stage of the rocket.

This is because in order to have the required power to carry the satellite to geosynchronous orbit, which is almost 100 times further from Earth than Low Earth orbit, the Falcon 9 can not afford to spare fuel to perform the re-entry burn and finally fire off the retro rockets to make a secure landing. By literally strapping two extra booster engines to the main body, taking the number of Merlin engines from 9 to 27, the Falcon Heavy is capable of carrying up to 8 tonnes to high earth orbit, meaning it can also be used for manned missions to the Moon and beyond.


Video footage of the static fire test, video by SpaceX source

The launch of the Falcon Heavy, expected to take place in February, is certain to be one of the big highlights of 2018. Musk has previously insisted that the Falcon Heavy is likely to fail, saying there will be some "spectacular failures on the road to success". However, once the launch and landings are mastered, it will be spectacular to see nothing less than three booster engines coming down to land at the same time.

Needless to say, there are fun and exciting times ahead. I hope you look forward to the event as much as I do!


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@fredrikaa

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I can't wait for this launch! Did you see any of the spectator videos from farther away? I think they gave the viewer a better appreciation for how much power and thrust is being exhausted here.

If the launch is successful, the 3 boosters returning to landing pads are going to make for some awesome photos. Exciting times indeed!

Ryan

I think you're absolutely right about the distance. I also saw the video some guy caught on camera from outside the launch complex. It would have looked like something catching a large fire, but then again the smoke comes up so quickly that you understand that there are greater forces at hand :)

Haha yeah, that's what I am talking about! Awesome footage :)

Oh, yes, I'm looking forward to the rocket launch. This will be another milestone in SpaceX space history. I wish the company all the best! Elon Musk for (World)President!

Space X has been killing it. I just listened to Elon where he said this company had like a 20% chance to make it. What an innovator and risk taker. Now this is the most innovative space company ever, imo. SO fantastic!

That means the yare doing it right!
I'm a bit fan of the so called "80 / 20" rule, meaning you should spend at least 20% of your time and resources pursuing something new and crazy to disrupt and potentially replace your core business that takes up the other 80.

Elon is taking the rate and level of innovation to the next level tho!

That is a great interesting theory @fredrikaa. I will remember to implement that. Funny thing is, it almost coralates with my blog today. If your friends don't think your crazy... something is WRONG! Which is about being different and most will think your crazy because you are going outside the status quo and outside your comfort zone. Would love your thoughts on that as it relates to just what you are saying here. Very intriguing that you said that. Thanks so much my friend for sharing that.

Man, this is cool! I'm excited to see The Falcon Heavy actually launch. We're lucky Elon Musk has a huge desire and interest in pushing the limits of science forward.

Saw the video earlier today, looks really exciting! Hopefully everything will go as planned and the launch won't be delayed any further. Exciting times are ahead of us :)

Hehe, well I would expect a delay or two, but expecting it to go down early this year. It's a sign of progress how watching the Falcon 9 land is no longer as exciting since you don't anticipate that things can go wrong anymore. This time, however, I'll be glued to the screen thinking that the whole thing may blow up at any moment. :P

Yeah, I guess there most definitely will be a few delays.
Haha, that's what I was thinking as well! While I don't want it to blow up, I won't be able to shake the idea that it could blow up and I'll be expecting it :D

Exciting news! I saw Elon's tweet today about the successful static fire. Can't wait for the launch in February!

It will be sooooo cool :D

It's really awesome that this is finally happening. Looks like the future is brighter and that space is getting "closer". The fact that they are doing it with 27 engines is mind-boggling to me.

If it can get 8 tonnes into high earth orbit, I guess we might also see the possibility of some really interesting unmanned space mission's as well. I'd like to see us go back and explore some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. I am not sure Elon is keen on that however, as his focus seems to be on Mars?

Will be epic watching this - Go Elon!

Good to hear this. I've been following SpaceX for a while now, and I'm excited to know of this next step in launching the Falcon Heavy after delays due to the recent US Government Shutdown. I'll follow this up by following you!

Space travel will become mainstream soon, can you imagine how fun it must be to travel into space.....

Elon Musk is my hero. Really, he is.

And i have been following this project closely for years. I can't tell you how thrilled I am for milestones like these!

I Like your post following you

Cool, well, I hope they can finally overcome their initial problems. I think increased space travel is probably a big part of the human future. Imagine the tech we'll develop when getting there and back becomes common place. @markrmorrisjr

I love the way Elon Mask makes reality out of dreams. I admire him as a person who pushs the world to the next level...

Nice share
I like to follow it. @fredrikaa

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Good post @fredrikaa, let's support the development of technology for the progress and benefits that will be enjoyed by the crowd

Fascinating my friend @fredrikaa the truth that is that live rocket must be something fascinating, a show, I want the Falcon Heavy rocket in February when it is in launch. The static fire test was amazing, very exciting, the noise was very loud, did the test work well? the values of pressure, temperature and flow gradients went as they should? I will follow @steemSTEM to see the scientific publications and read a little more, that excites me. Thank you very much for transmitting this information that is generated in NASA! Greetings friend, you're fine!

STEEM ON!

I love your work, I am also a photographer. I post daily blogs from around the world. Give me a follow ! Upvoted!

beam me up scotty

wow amazing news.i also know few things about SpaceX, is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has since developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family, which both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit.

That is literally just you copy pasting the first lines on wikipedia about SpaceX (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX).

I upvote everyone who makes comments that show they have read the post, or which adds value to the conversation. But you're not doing that.

What is your general opinion about Musk's projects, concerning the Hyperloop, Space X and the rocket-powered mass transportation?

How much of his promises you find to be absolutely possible and how much is just a pure fiction?

The YouTube physicist, Thunderf00t, had some harsh but for me (I'm absolutely not an engineer) relatively solid arguments against some of the Musk's projects.

Elon Musk should be remembered as one of the most important man in human history!

Wonderful SpaceX's Falcon, hoping the launch becomes a huge success. Nice footage

I like Paris very much. can I make a friend with you?

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