California’s SpaceX Test Fires World’s Biggest Rocket, Plans Flight Soon

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The first SpaceX Falcon Heavy is tested at Cape Canaveral. Courtesy SpaceX

Los Angeles-based SpaceX successfully test fired its first Falcon Heavy — the world’s most powerful rocket.

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The rocket’s 27 engines roared to life for about 10 seconds on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk later tweeted, “Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam. Launching in a week or so.”

The first flight will loft a test payload — Musk’s own red Tesla roadster — into orbit around the sun.

The space vehicle is made up of three Falcon 9 rocket cores, each of which is designed to return for a powered landing and later reuse. It is the largest rocket since the Saturn 5 moon rockets of the 1960s and 70s.

SpaceX already has a contract to use the giant rocket to fly two unidentified individuals around the moon next year.

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