Development of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle has been in progress since 2011. Initially, SpaceX planned to begin testing it in 2013, but the timing was smoothly shifted. In the summer of this year, the head of SpaceX Ilon Mask said that the missile is being prepared for the first flight, which will take place in autumn 2017, and the other day reported on the successful tests of the engines of the first stages.
The tests were carried out on a special stand, equipped at the company's plant in Texas. Each stage is a modified and reinforced first stage of the Falcon 9 missile, equipped with special fairings. During the testing, the engines of the stages lasted about a minute, then the fuel ran out in the tanks, and the test was successfully completed.
According to SpaceX, the Falcon Heavy rocket will become the most powerful missile of the company, capable of bringing to Earth orbit up to 64 tons of cargo. At the same time, all stages of the missile are planned to be made returnable.
The first test flight of the rocket is scheduled for November 2017. Ilon Mask hopes that the rocket will be able to fly, but he does not feel any special hopes that after landing the first flight he will be able to land the steps. Nevertheless, even the flight itself will be a big breakthrough for the company, because the launch has already been transferred several times.
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