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SpaceX Helped US Lead the World in Successful Rocket Launches in 2017

SpaceX Helped US Lead the World in Successful Rocket Launches in 2017

Elon Musk's SpaceX has revealed the long-awaited Falcon Heavy rocket is fit for the launchpad, sharing photos and a video on social media.

Zuma payload was prepared by Northrop Grumman with SpaceX on behalf of the US government. "Launch end of the month", he wrote.

Up next for Falcon Heavy will be the massive rocket's first-ever integrated static fire, which will see all 27 of its Merlin 1D engines ignite for a brief several seconds in order to test a number of procedures and validate models of the rocket's design and operations. This gives it three times as many engines as the company's Falcon 9 rocket, a class which delivers Dragon cargo crafts to the International Space Station. The launch of Zuma is clearly the company's main priority, at the moment. SpaceX later released photos of the auto being encapsulated in the rocket's payload fairing. Falcon Heavy's center octaweb is even beefier.

In fact, the Falcon Heavy is basically three Falcon 9 rockets bound together. The rocket was lowered and rolled back to its hangar the next day. Similar analysis will undoubtedly occur after the first static fire to verify that Falcon Heavy is still flight-worthy and its Tesla Roadster payload is in good condition.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy

For the first time since the February 2003 disaster of NASA's Columbia space shuttle, the United States unilaterally topped the list for the number of successful orbital launches in 2017.

Musk, though, has lowered expectations for the first Falcon Heavy launch, something he also did in his Instagram post. That static fire test is not expected to take place until after the Falcon 9 launch of a classified payload codenamed "Zuma" from nearby Space Launch Complex 40. But don't get too excited just yet: SpaceX has a history of delays.

Launches, for the goal of this story, refer to the country where the rocket was built, and not from where it was launched.

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