Florida - SpaceX has delayed the launch of its giant Falcon Heavy rocket until 2018.

The firm said it was still on course to test the rocket in a static fire trial this year.

However, in an email to Aviation Week, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell revealed the delay.

‘We wanted to fly Heavy this year,’ she wrote.

‘We should be able to static fire this year and fly a couple of weeks right after that.’

The static fire test will be the first time that all of Heavy’s 27 Merlin engines will be fired at once. 

The vast rocket, which is ultimately three Falcon 9 rockets linked together, will have the combined thrust to eventually launch 140,000 pounds (63,500kg) of cargo into orbit.

And if all goes well there, Falcon Heavy should be ready for launch within the first few weeks of 2018.

SpaceX is poised to move launches of its single-core Falcon 9 rockets to pad 40 at neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, beginning with a Dec. 8 flight to send cargo to the International Space Station, freeing up pad 39A for final upgrades and outfitting to support the Falcon Heavy, according to Spaceflight Now ‘We wanted to fly Heavy this year,’ she wrote.

‘We should be able to static fire this year and fly a couple of weeks right after that.’

The static fire test will be the first time that all of Heavy’s 27 Merlin engines will be fired at once. 

The vast rocket, which is ultimately three Falcon 9 rockets linked together, will have the combined thrust to eventually launch 140,000 pounds (63,500kg) of cargo into orbit.

And if all goes well there, Falcon Heavy should be ready for launch within the first few weeks of 2018.

SpaceX is poised to move launches of its single-core Falcon 9 rockets to pad 40 at neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, beginning with a Dec. 8 flight to send cargo to the International Space Station, freeing up pad 39A for final upgrades and outfitting to support the Falcon Heavy, according to Spaceflight Now

Last month SpaceX finished testing first stage cores of the Falcon Heavy rocket slated to send humans to the moon next year and launch man to Mars in the coming decades.

‘Falcon Heavy’s three first-stage cores have all complete testing at our rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas,’ the company announced on Friday night at 23.23 ET (04.23 BST Saturday).

The idea of creating reusable rockets is at the heart of Musk’s mission.

SpaceX’s massive Falcon Heavy rocket, projected to be the ‘most powerful operational rocket in the world,’ is set to launch this November.

Musk tweeted that the team are putting together a ‘SpaceX rocket landing blooper reel’.

‘We messed up a lot before it finally worked, but there’s some epic explosion footage’, he tweeted.

The firm has teased the megarocket since 2011, and had originally planned to achieve its maiden flight in 2013, but faced several challenges that forced SpaceX to push back the date. 

The SpaceX CEO tweeted the schedule last month, following up on claims made this past June which first revealed the unmanned launch could happen in the next few months.

‘Falcon Heavy maiden launch this November,’ Musk wrote on social media alongside a concept photo of the powerful three-core rocket.