SpaceX Fires Up Huge Falcon Heavy Rocket

The massive Falcon Heavy rocket owned and operated by SpaceX has just successfully rekindled its engine after an absence of more than three years.

Falcon Heavy passed a "static fire" test on Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Thursday (Oct. 27).

Static fires are a frequent prelaunch test in which the first-stage engines of a rocket are momentarily fired while the vehicle stays attached to the ground.

The milestone maintains the Heavy on schedule to launch the USSF-44 mission for the U.S. Space Force on Nov. 1, SpaceX announced Thursday.

The Falcon Heavy will make its fourth launch overall, and its first launch since June 2019, with the US Space Flight 44 mission.

The massive rocket will launch two satellites for the Space Force, which has not divulged anything about the payloads or their missions.

SpaceX's Thursday was busy. In addition to the static fire, SpaceX launched 53 Starlink broadband satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

The Starlink mission, which landed the Falcon 9's first stage on a ship at sea, took out from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

This flight caps years of work by a mission-focused team from the U.S. Space Force and SpaceX said Stephen Purdy