There’s a small wrench in SpaceX’s plan to prove its Falcon Heavy rocket is ready to shoot for the stars–the government shutdown.
SpaceX was supposed to do a static launch of the Falcon Heavy rockets, where all 27 engines are fired up to make sure that they know how to properly load the propellant and ignite the engines before they let any astronauts onboard. Once they perform the test successfully, SpaceX can set a target launch date for a full test run.
However, as The Verge notes, because the Air Force’s 45th Space Wing oversees launches and operations at both the Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, SpaceX’s operations are on hold while the Republican-led government tries to figure out how to do its job. Until the shutdown ends, SpaceX is grounded, which may mean further delays for the commercial space agency.