Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
Link here. The article has a lot of good information not only about the test but about the launchpad and how it will be used in the future.
One take-away that I came off with however came from the picture of the Falcon Heavy on the launchpad. It made me realize how far apart the two side stages sit from the core stages, as the rocket is now reconfigured. My impression of most strap-ons today is that they are placed very close to the core, and they generally have aerodynamic cones that slope away from the core, so that the air is directed away from the space between the stages. Falcon Heavy however has all that space, and the side strap-ons have rounded cones.
I wonder if this is one of the rocket’s most worrisome unknowns, as it travels through Max Q, the period shortly after launch when the stresses created from its speed and the atmosphere are the highest. As designed, a lot of atmosphere will travel between the stages. While this isn’t entirely unique (the shuttle had a somewhat comparable gaps between its various parts), I do wonder.