SpaceX Feb. 6 Falcon Heavy launch will be huge

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The Falcon Heavy underwent fit checks and fueling tests at the Launch Pad 39A since it was raised at the space facility last December 28, 2017. Scheduled to lift off no earlier than 4:25PM on Tuesday, January 30, the launch will continue SES' tradition of flying aboard reused SpaceX rockets, with the ~4000 kg communication satellite expected to be carried into orbit by Falcon 9 B1032 (Booster #32), a booster that first flew during the May 2017 launch of the National Reconnaissance Office's (NRO) classified NROL-76 spacecraft.

There will be at least one significant payload aboard, however: Musk's cherry-red Tesla Roadster sports auto, which is meant to be sent into a widely looping orbit stretching out as far as Mars.

The Falcon Heavy is ready to fly from Kennedy Space Center's historic Launch Complex 39A. But if there are delays beyond that, all bets are off - the federal government is now funded through February 8, and a government shutdown could stall the launch, since the US Air Force must oversee rocket launches from Cape Canaveral. Musk has said the Falcon Heavy will launch his own cherry-red Tesla Roadster into space. During the first launch, Falcon Heavy's engines will be throttled to 92 percent of full power. Falcon Heavy was built using the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9.

In May a year ago, SpaceX released a video showing the Falcon Heavy's core engines going through their first static test, an indication of a real possible launch.

The Falcon 9 is now used to hoist satellites and supplies to the International Space Station.

Somewhat sadly, the inherent engineering limits of older versions of Falcon 9 and the imminent introduction of Block 5 mean that SpaceX has less and less of a need to recover flight proven boosters that have no hope of being cost-effectively refurbished and conducting additional flights.

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"I love the thought of a auto drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future", Musk wrote. "And if he can demonstrate Falcon Heavy, it makes the Mars mission that more credible." said consultant Peluso.

"Twenty-seven engines are firing simultaneously", Musk said at the March press conference. Its two side boosters will land at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1 while the center stage will descend on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship.

The launch will be like three normal SpaceX launches happening simultaneously.

Apart from an eruption of flames and smoke, it'll destroy Musk's Tesla - and, potentially, decimate the launch pad. The rocket was fixed down and its engines fired up for the test.

The launch can be watched live.

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