Published: Tue, February 05, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Here's a Fiery Glowing Test of the New SpaceX Raptor Engine

Here's a Fiery Glowing Test of the New SpaceX Raptor Engine

This is a Raptor rocket engine, and it's been fired at the SpaceX's Rocket Development and Test Facility in McGregor, Texas.

SpaceX's Raptor engine test wasn't unnoticed though: People in the Central Texas area said they heard a loud pop during the event, and more similar sounds later on in the night, Ars Technica reported.

On Sunday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared photos and video of the company's Starship Raptor engine firing in its first ground test. Musk, who posted about the event on Twitter, congratulated his team with a message about the successful test.

The rocket is now being built outside of Brownsville, Texas, and the image and video Musk tweeted is the first time the public has gotten to see it in action. There'd eventually be 31 Raptors powering the reusable Super Heavy, and seven Raptors on the Starship. Starship will launch atop a giant rocket SpaceX calls Super Heavy.

The Raptor will represent a technological break for SpaceX engines. Green doesn't mean the Raptor engine is good to go though.

The first launches of the full-scale Starship-Super Heavy duo could follow in relatively short order.

In later responses, Musk said that the first orbital prototype should be ready by June.

The recent test wasn't the first firing of any kind of Raptor. That's equivalent to the power of the BE-4 rocket engines that Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space venture is developing for its New Glenn rocket. It will be powered by liquid oxygen (known in the space business as LOX) and cryogenic liquid methane, rather than the LOX/kerosene mix other SpaceX engines have used.

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