SpaceX Fires Mars-Bound Raptor Engine

Elon Musk posted spectacular videos of Space X's new rocket engine firing for the first time

These engines will likely power the Starship once its in space as well as the Super Heavy rocket that'll blast off from our planet in the first place.

Starship - previously known as BFR, Big Falcon Rocket, or the Big F***ing Rocket - is the crux of Musk's plans to send humans to Mars.

The entire hollow nosecone broke off, and at the time, Musk said it would take a few weeks to fix.

SpaceX last month said it was moving its testing of the Starship prototype to its south Texas site from the Port of Lost Angeles.

The SpaceX CEO shared footage on Twitter from the first test firing of the Raptor rocket engine this weekend and provided an update the capabilities that will help it 'reach the moon as fast as possible'.

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There is no substitute for this kind of test-firing and, as Ars Technica notes, "any "first" test firing of a new, full-scale rocket engine that doesn't end in an uncontrolled explosion is a good thing".

Both of these vehicles will be reusable and Raptor-powered.

With an initial thrust of 440,000 pounds-force, the Raptor is somewhat less powerful than Blue Origin's BE-4 engine, which also uses methane and liquid oxygen and produces 550,000 pounds-force of thrust.

Musk also said in December that the Raptor had been "radically redesigned" from prior versions, but did not elaborate then on the changes.

Showing the engine in action on Twitter, the entrepreneur said he was "so proud" of the work carried out by his team at SpaceX, who recently learned that workforce numbers at the company would be cut by around 10pc. Before that can happen, SpaceX needs to make sure its engines are working as intended, and a test firing conducted on Sunday suggests that all is well.

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