SpaceX now targeting Friday or the weekend for Falcon Heavy static fire test

SpaceX teams are working towards the eventual launch of the SpaceX three-core Falcon Heavy rocket. It will likely lift off on its demonstration flight early this year.

SpaceX has delayed the static fire test of the 230-foot-tall rocket’s 27 Merlin main engines. It is a routine operation that will produce data for analysis by engineers. If all goes well after the testing phase, the rocket’s inaugural flight from Kennedy Space Center’s pad 39A will be scheduled.

As of Wednesday morning, SpaceX is targeting no earlier than 3:30 p.m. Eastern time Friday for a test fire of its Falcon Heavy rocket at Kennedy Space Center. Teams have six hours, or until 9:30 p.m., to briefly fire the 27 Merlin engine.

Due to range requirements in support of an upcoming launch of the United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket, currently NET Thursday, SpaceX has postponed the static fire of Falcon Heavy without a replacement date. It is unlikely that another attempt will occur before the upcoming weekend, but SpaceX should have at least a solid week of uninterrupted range support once ULA’s launch occurs.

SpaceX completed as many as two complete wet dress rehearsals (WDRs), which saw Falcon Heavy topped off with full tanks of its cryogenic (super cool) liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket-grade jet fuel (RP-1).