80ºF

Sound on: SpaceX tests Mars rocket engine

Raptor engines will power Starship to moon, Mars, beyond

SpaceX test fires the Raptor engine. The powerful engine will eventually power SpaceX's Starship and booster. (Image: Elon Musk/SpaceX)
SpaceX test fires the Raptor engine. The powerful engine will eventually power SpaceX's Starship and booster. (Image: Elon Musk/SpaceX)

That was no flamethrower SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted video of this weekend. Competing with Super Bowl fans on Twitter, Musk shared two videos showing the Raptor engine fired up, and it was powerful.

When complete, Raptor engines will power SpaceX’s Starship spaceship designed to travel to the moon, Mars and beyond.

The Raptor flight engine test happened in McGregor, Texas, where the engine is in development.

Musk later tweeted an eight-second video with sound, and it’s worth turning your sound on to listen. Both videos have more than 1.2 million views each.

SpaceX officials said Monday in a social media post the engine was fired for two seconds at 60 percent power and reached 116 metric tons of force -- the highest thrust ever from a SpaceX engine.

"First firing of Starship Raptor flight engine!" Musk tweeted. "So proud of great work by @SpaceX team!!"

According to Musk, it's the first time the Raptor has been test-fired, which is a critical step in developing a new rocket engine as engineers fire it up.

Currently, 27 Merlin engines that generate 5.13 million pounds of thrust at liftoff power SpaceX’s most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy.

Raptor will pack a bigger punch.

Musk said Starship will be powered by seven Raptor engines, and eventually the spaceship will be paired with the Super Falcon Heavy booster that will use 31 Raptor engines.


About the Author: