SpaceX aims to launch five Falcon Heavy missions this year, starting with a launch for the United States military this weekend. The U.S. Space Force paid SpaceX $316 million in August 2020 to perform the USSF-67 mission that will send two payloads to space: the Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM (CBAS-2) and a Long Duration Propulsive ESPA ring, which is a spacecraft capable of carrying six small satellites.
SpaceX’s powerful Falcon Heavy rocket roared to life on January 10, during a static-fire test at the NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex-39A, ahead of launching the U.S. Space Force’s USSF-67 mission. “Full duration static fire of Falcon Heavy complete; targeting no earlier than Saturday, January 14 for launch of the USSF-67 mission from Florida,” announced SpaceX today.
Falcon Heavy is composed of three reusable Falcon 9 nine-engine booster cores. The boosters that will be reused for the USSF-67 mission were recovered in November 2022 after SpaceX Falcon Heavy deployed the military’s USSF-44 mission. Read more: SpaceX's powerful Falcon Heavy rocket launches U.S. Space Force satellites
A static-fire test is a routine operation that enables engineers to ensure that a rocket is working optimally to take flight. During the test, engineers fuel Falcon Heavy with rocket-grade RP-1 Kerosene and liquid oxygen, then the 27 Merlin 1D engines are ignited for a few seconds as the vehicle remains grounded to the launch pad with hold on clamps. NASASpaceflight captured footage of the rocket briefly roaring, linked below. The 27 Merlin 1D engines are capable of producing more than 5 million pounds of thrust upon liftoff, which makes the three-core rocket one of the most powerful rockets in the world. It has the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb).
STATIC FIRE! Falcon Heavy fires up its 27 Merin 1Ds at 39A.— Chris Bergin - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) January 10, 2023
Wait for a SpaceX tweet later than usually confirms a good test after quick look data review.
Live commentary:https://t.co/tANS0dWyIH pic.twitter.com/VUbPDyhxPW
Full duration static fire of Falcon Heavy complete; targeting no earlier than Saturday, January 14 for launch of the USSF-67 mission from Florida pic.twitter.com/EJdditiphe— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 10, 2023
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Featured Image Souce: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.