SpaceX's heavy-lift rocket Falcon Heavy completes hold-down firing test

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  WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- SpaceX's new heavy-lift rocket Falcon Heavy completed its static firing test at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday after multiple delays.

  The Falcon Heavy rocket ignited all 27 engines of its first-stage at about 12:30 p.m. American Eastern Standard Time for about 10 seconds, spewing violent exhaust and steam, a video on SpaceX's official twitter showed.

  "Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam." wrote SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in his Twitter post. He added that the mega-rocket's maiden launch could be just a week away or so.

  Previously, Musk said that the rocket would carry a red Tesla Roadster and that the payload be injected into an orbit around the sun that lies between Earth's orbit and Mars' orbit.

  The Falcon Heavy, a reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle, is seen as the world's most powerful rocket since NASA's Saturn V.

  It is a variant of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and consists of a strengthened Falcon 9 rocket core with two additional Falcon 9 first stages as strap-on boosters.

[ Editor: Liu Jiaming ]


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