SpaceX Raptor Flight Engine Test Fired in Texas

SpaceX Raptor engine firing 1 photo
Photo: Elon Musk/Twitter
The build of SpaceX’s Starship marked another milestone this weekend, after the company test fired the latest variant of its Raptor engine for the first time.
The event took place at the company’s facility in McGregor, Texas, and appears to have gone without any major problems.

This is not the first time SpaceX fires the engine it calls Raptor, the one that will eventually make it into the Mars-bound Starship. Similar events took place in 2016 and again in 2018, but with earlier variants of the engine.

The version of the engine shown here is supposed to have been redesigned compared to the old version and the one that will actually take off with the Starship.

There were two very short clips released by Musk on his Twitter account – no image was officially shown by SpaceX – one capturing the moment up close and the other from afar. We must warn you the clip shot from a distance might bust your eardrums if you’re not careful with the volume settings on your device.

The first time we’ll get to see the Raptor engines in action will probably be later this year, when the Starship prototype, the Hopper, will begin operations. Three such engines will be used on the test rocket, with a total of seven expected to go into the production version.

The Raptor is a SpaceX in-house built engine, fueled by cryogenic liquid methane and liquid oxygen. Over the years, several variants of it were made.

The last variant, shown in September last year, was said to be capable of generating a 200 tonnes-force.

The Starship, formerly known as Interplanetary Transport System or the Big Falcon Rocket, will eventually be used by SpaceX to send a crewed mission to Mars. Plans are to launch two such rockets carrying cargo in preparation for human arrival by 2022, with 2 other ships, this time crewed, planned for 2024.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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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.
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