SpaceX Starship to Get Raptor Engine This Week

Starship Raptor engine 1 photo
Photo: bocachicagal via
As the eyes of the world were pointed up to see SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule make a triumphant return home, the space company was equally busy in Boca Chica Village, Texas.
Late last week, the Raptor engine that will power the test Starship arrived on location and will be fitted sometime this week, according to Elon Musk. This is the last major hurdle before the Starship begins landing and takeoff tests.

It’s not clear when the actual testing will begin, but SpaceX plans to conduct at first a series of static fire trials and then move on to an actual launch. The Raptor engine in itself was fired before, but without being attached to a ship. The last time this happened was in February.

The Raptor is an engine built by SpaceX and fueled by cryogenic liquid methane and liquid oxygen. Over the years, several variants of it were made, the last one being shown for the first time in September last year. This version is capable of generating a 200 tonnes-force.

As for the Starship, when fully operational it will be used by SpaceX as the main means of transportation to Mars. Plans are to launch two such rockets carrying only cargo in 2022 and another two, this time with people on board, in 2024.

Until then, the ship being assembled in Texas will take off and repeatedly land to test a series of systems. During these tests, the Starship, also known as Hopper because of its take-off and landing capabilities, can reach an altitude of 16,400 feet (5 km).

The construction is made of stainless steel, a material never used before for such a task, chosen by SpaceX due to the low price and high strength.

Back in January, the Hopper prototype was damaged by heavy winds, as the mooring blocks broke and the fairing was blown over. A few weeks were needed to get the machine back in shape.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories