SpaceX informed about successful fire test of the core of their Falcon Heavy rocket at McGregor facility in Texas.
Company announced on own Twitter profile and confirmed that it took place yesterday at their facility located in McGregor in Texas. Center core stage of the rocket was installed on test tower and its propulsion was fired. It was not unveiled how many engines were fired, how long test lasted or which level of thrust was reached. To remind, Falcon Heavy will be equipped in 27 Merlin-1D engines: 9 in each from two strap on boosters and 9 installed in center core. These engines are fueled with LOX/RP-1 propellant just as engines used for Falcon-9FT. Surely it is sign, that SpaceX managed to get rid of problems which caused four years of delay.
First flight of Falcon Heavy was planned for 2013 and after number of delays it was moved to late Summer 2017; first commercial mission was set on 2018 with Arabsat communications satellite. This mission should be preceded in 2017 by Space Test Program 2 mission contracted for the U.S. Air Force . This launch with six satellites under the payload fairing seems to be already delayed; according to some sources it will not be possible in 2017 and probably will be postponed to 2018. Still it is possible that SpaceX will perform launch of Falcon Heavy in late 2017, but it will be nothing more than demonstration flight. In case if any other problems r, missions of Falcon Heavy can get another delay. One thing is sure – SpaceX will do everything to keep in schedule most important part of their program – delivering to orbit Dragon 2 manned spacecraft planned for fourth quarter of the 2018 which was one of the main reasons why Falcon Heavy was created for.