SpaceX fires engines on big new rocket in launch pad test

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SpaceX has fired up its newest, biggest rocket in a critical launch pad test.

The world's most powerful rocket is now ready to launch. That's what SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted after his company tested the 27 engines on its Falcon Heavy rocket around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Center.

The rocket pushed out 5 million pounds of thrust for about ten seconds, as it was bolted down onto the launch pad.  All three boosters were tested.  The thunderous booms could be heard three miles away, as huge white clouds of engine exhaust billowed upward. Everything appeared normal.

The successful test clears the way for a test launch of the heavy lift rocket in about "a week or so" said Musk in a tweet after the test.

The long-anticipated test flight will carry up a Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk, who also heads the electric car company. Musk has repeatedly warned the rocket could explode. If successful, his red sports car will end up in orbit around the sun, traveling as far out as Mars.


Some information taken from the Associated Press.