SpaceX has fired up its newest, biggest rocket in a critical launch pad test.
The Falcon Heavy briefly roared to life for the first time Wednesday at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. All three boosters — 27 engines in all — were tested. The thunderous booms could be heard at the press site three miles away, as huge white clouds of engine exhaust billowed upward. Everything appeared normal.
SpaceX is aiming for a February launch. The long-anticipated test flight will carry up a Tesla Roadster belonging to Elon Musk, who heads both the rocket and electric car companies. 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.