SpaceX completes first static fire test of Falcon Heavy core stage


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Capitalism in space: SpaceX this week successfully completed the first static fire engine test of the core stage of its Falcon Heavy rocket.

In a tweet, the company said that it completed the first static fire of the core stage of the rocket at the company’s McGregor, Texas, test site last week. The company did not disclose the precise date of the test or its duration. The company included in the tweet a video showing about 15 seconds of the test.

The Falcon Heavy uses three Falcon 9 first stages, or cores, along with an upper stage, an approach similar to United Launch Alliance’s Delta 4 Heavy. The two side booster cores for the first launch will be previously-flown Falcon 9 first stages, but the center core will be a new stage, modified to accommodate the side boosters.

The first launch is scheduled for sometime in the late summer, early fall.

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5 comments

  • geoffc

    We know they tested the refurbed/converted Thaicomm-8 core that will be one of the two side boosters. So at least 2/3 tested.

    Surprisingly they will NOT apparently be testing all three together at McGregor, which is a bit surprising since it was assumed that the current test stand (In ground vs on big podium) was designed for testing all three together.

    And never forget to mention.
    – Falcon Heavy 64,000 Kilos to LEO. Around $100 million a launch.
    – SLS – Block 1 – 70,000 Kilos to LEO. $43 billion and counting?

    Can anyone do math in NASA/Congress? Apparently not!!! (I am aware Block 2 will have more capacity. I know that the 43 billion is the total dev cost of Ares, Orion, and SLS, but until they actually launch something those costs are for the first launch).

  • LocalFluff

    @geoffc
    Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar has been around in the space industry. 1:06:00 into the Space Show she answers exactly your question. Or tries to. And she discussed for some time before that point. It’s because of the “architecture” and because only SLS/Orion is capable of deep space flight. And the goal is to cost huge amounts of monies, it’s a good thing. Because it is the government high costs are “strategically” important for maintaining the (outdated) industrial base.

  • Edward

    geoffc wrote: “the 43 billion is the total dev cost of Ares, Orion, and SLS, but until they actually launch something those costs are for the first launch

    Well, technically, until they actually launch something those costs are for zero launches. Just as all the money spent on Ares was for nothing.

  • ken anthony

    Join govt. and you too can twist your brain into a pretzel.

    At what point do the people figure out that SLS vs FH is just a pure example of the corrupt comedy running our lives?

    If Musk built a booster to carry a fully fueled SLS to LEO govt would see that as proof we need SLS.

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