SpaceX is on schedule to launch the Falcon Heavy for the first time in three years after completing a static fire test of the heavy-lift launch rocket. The commercial space firm declared the successful completion of the test on Twitter, accompanied by a photo of the rocket exhaling flames and smoke from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39A. During a static fire test, the engines of a rocket are ignited to evaluate their performance while still on the ground.
This test was carried out in preparation for USSF-44, a secret mission flown by SpaceX for the US Space Force. USSF-44 will carry two payloads, both of which will be satellites in geostationary orbit. It was initially planned to launch on October 31st, but SpaceX is now aiming for November 1st. The business has not yet released a launch time within the day, although it will take place around 9:40 AM ET, according to Space and Next Spaceflight.
In 2018, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket launched with a cherry red Tesla Roadster owned by company CEO Elon Musk and a dummy called “Starman” in the driver’s seat. It last launched in June 2019, and SpaceX described it as one of the “most problematic” launches in its history, with the center core landing proving so difficult that it missed the drone ship waiting for it by a few feet. It has since been certified to lift the Space Force’s secret surveillance satellites into orbit, and the first of these flights might take place within the next several days.