Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: Elon Musk (Twitter)

Elon Musk shares footage of SpaceX's latest Mars rocket test

The Raptor achieved the strongest thrust of any SpaceX engine to date.
754 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to celebrate the first-test fire of the SpaceX Raptor flight engine, which will be used on its next-gen rocket. The company's head honcho shared footage of the thunderous, two-second test conducted at its McGregor, Texas facility, the site where the Raptor was first put through its paces back in September, 2016. SpaceX followed up with an Instagram post confirming that the Raptor performed the "highest thrust ever" from a SpaceX engine, despite operating at 60 percent power.

The methane fuel-powered Raptor marks a technological shift away from the LOX/kerosene mix used in SpaceX's current Merlin engines. This latest test was conducted with warm propellant, with Musk tweeting that he expects a 10 to 20 percent increase in performance when switching to deep cryogenic temperatures.

Musk said that the test engine hit 172 metric tons of force with a chamber pressure of 257 bars: the power levels needed for use in the Super Heavy rocket booster on the Starship (formerly known as the BFR). In the past, Musk has said that as many as 31 Raptor engines could be attached to the Starship, which is designed to be used for trips to Mars as early as 2022.

Though the SpaceX chief has admitted to being "optimistic" about his ambitions, his company recently underwent a seismic change to ensure it can meet its targets. Just last month, SpaceX said it was letting around 10 percent of its 6,000-plus employees go in order to become a leaner enterprise.


Video
Presenter: Michael Morris
Script: Michael Morris
Script Editor: Terrence O'Brien
Camera: Kiel Perez
Editor: Chris Schodt
Producer: Michael Morris

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
754 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Scoot makes its new single-seat mopeds available in Los Angeles

Scoot makes its new single-seat mopeds available in Los Angeles

View
Facebook's version of political neutrality isn't neutral

Facebook's version of political neutrality isn't neutral

View
Firefox update adds detailed tracking reports and password tools

Firefox update adds detailed tracking reports and password tools

View
AT&T offers the LG G8X with a 'free' Dual Screen case (updated)

AT&T offers the LG G8X with a 'free' Dual Screen case (updated)

View
A machine-learning system may have predicted the World Series winner

A machine-learning system may have predicted the World Series winner

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr