SpaceX has test fired its Falcon Heavy rocket

Falcon Heavy rocket static firing.

There was smoke, there was fire—and, most importantly, nothing on the launch pad appeared to blow up. Shortly after noon ET on Wednesday, SpaceX test fired all 27 engines on its Falcon Heavy rocket, a key step toward launching the massive booster from Florida.

The company did not immediately provide details about the technical performance of the booster during the test. On Twitter, however, company founder Elon Musk said the test fire was "good," and that this cleared the way for a launch within "a week or so." Although the company has not provided a date for launch, it is likely to occur no earlier than some time in early February.

Musk has promised excitement during the launch—either because the most powerful rocket since the space shuttle will take off and soar into space, or there will be some kind of spectacular in-flight anomaly during the test flight. No rocket with three cores and so many engines has successfully launched from Earth before.

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