US government shutdown caused SpaceX to delay several of its operations despite. Despite being a private company, SpaceX still has to adhere to certain government regulations. Now that the government shutdown is over, SpaceX today Performance a static fire test on its Falcon Heavy rocket.
Called the hold-down test, this involves the rocket with propellant and firing all of its 27 engines at the same time while the rocket is secured to the launch pad. It appears that the test was successful, but have yet to get full confirmation from SpaceX.
The Falcon Heavy was announced back in 2011 and has seen a long development period. Falcon Heavy’s launch date has been pushed back multiple times, but shouldn’t really come as a surprise due to the complexity of the rocket, and the fact that it’s the largest since the Saturn Vs that took us to the moon.
Seeing as the static fire test appears to have been successfully completed, if the rocket is able to perform as it should, SpaceX may soon set a launch date.
In a tweet after today’s test, Elon Musk said the Falcon Heavy launch could potentially take place in about a week.
Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam. Launching in a week or so. pic.twitter.com/npaqatbNir
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 24, 2018