SpaceX Test Fires A Huge New Engine For Their Next Rocket
SpaceX recently completed its first test fire of its Raptor Engine. This is reportedly going to power SpaceX’s next rocket, which will be brought to light very soon. It was announced by Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. He posted a couple of videos which showed the engine blasting off in all its glory. One video lacked sound, whereas the other one was pretty feature rich. The test took place at SpaceX’s test site in McGregor, Texas.
First firing of Starship Raptor flight engine! So proud of great work by @SpaceX team!! pic.twitter.com/S6aT7Jih4S— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2019
The Raptor engine is the latest successor to the company’s previous Merlin 1D engine. They will power SpaceX’s upcoming mission to Mars and beyond, so they are actually pretty powerful. It’s actually suggested to turn down the volume before you watch the second video though, because yes, it’s VERY loud. SpaceX is now supposed to perform ‘hop tests’ of altitudes between 1,640 and 16,400 feet.
These are the videos of the blast test, straight from Elon Musk’s Twitter.
February 4, 2019
February 4, 2019
This test used a full-scale engine that was ‘radically redesigned’. It uses methane as it’s primary fuel, just because it performs better. The current Merlin engines provide almost 190,000 pounds of liftoff. Instead, the Raptor will give around 440,000 pounds of liftoff. The test flights of the Starship can begin soon, probably by the next two months. Still, Elon Musk believes that an unmanned mission to mars may happen anytime before 2022. It could be followed up by a manned flight to Mars in 2024.