After weeks of delays caused by technical failures and government shutdowns, SpaceX finally tested the engines on its Falcon Heavy rocket shortly after noon on Wednesday and it was INCREDIBLE.
Videos posted by reporters on the ground at Kennedy Space Center show the Falcon Heavy’s ridiculous power as it lets its engines go at full throttle for a few seconds.
The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket to grace a NASA facility since the Saturn V that carried astronauts to the moon, and is capable of around 5 million pounds of thrust. To put that in perspective, the Falcon Heavy’s 27 Merlin engines are equivalent to about 18 Boeing 747s with their engines at maximum power.
Wednesday’s static fire is one of the last major tests for the rocket before its maiden flight, expected to occur sometime within the next two weeks. If all goes according to plan, the rocket will carry Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster to elliptical Mars orbit.
Motherboard will be on the ground at Kennedy Space Center to cover the historic launch.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated the Falcon Heavy will be used to carry humans to Mars. SpaceX is developing a separate rocket for that purpose called the Big Fucking Rocket. Falcon Heavy may be used to carry crews to the moon, however.