Monday, September 27, 2021

SpaceX still eying test launch of world’s most powerful rocket after delay

A handout photo made available by SpaceX on 24 January 2018 shows a Tesla Roadster car aboard a Spacex company’s Falcon Heavy rocket in Cape Canaveral, USA, 06 December 2017. A Falcon Heavy rocket of US rocket company SpaceX has arrived on 22 January 2018 at a launchpad in Cape Canaveral, ready to be launched for a demonstration flight within the coming weeks. The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful transport rocket of today yet will carry only a Tesla Roadster for the demonstration flight. EFE

Cape Canaveral, Florida, Jan 24 (EFE).- SpaceX is preparing to conduct a demonstration flight of the world’s most powerful rocket in the near future, although plans for the launch have been delayed due to the United States federal government shutdown

The Falcon Heavy is capable of carrying 54 metric tons (119,000 pounds) into orbit – equivalent to a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel and more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX says on its Web site.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter early last month that the Falcon Heavy, which is now vertical on the Apollo 11 pad at Cape Canaveral, would launch before the end of January.

“Will have double thrust of next largest rocket. Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another,” said Musk, who warned last year that there was a strong possibility the vehicle would not make it to orbit.

But the brief US government shutdown that began on Jan. 20 and ended on Monday forced a delay in a static test firing of the rocket’s 27 engines, an operation that must be carried out before a demonstration flight of the three-core vehicle can occur.