SpaceX seems to have moved one step closer to transfer people to Mars after a tweet by Elon Musk confirmed that they had successfully tested the Raptor Engine which will be used for the Starship and Super Heavy spacecraft and it has now enough power to support the launch. This is indeed another milestone achieved by one of the most technologically advanced space company, SpaceX.
Elon Musk made this tweet just 3 days after saying that the test-firing for the Raptor Engine has been completed and it is ready to be used for flights. These engines are being termed as “flight ready” and have undergone the stepwise procedure of small bursts of limited power which was gradually increased both in the duration and the amount of power till it achieved levels exceeding what is required for an actual flight.
The utility of the Raptor engine is mainly to propel the Starship Rocket and is also a launch system which is fully reusable. The Starship Rocket will be used to carry up to 100 people to the red planet, thus, making this successful test all the more significant. According to Mr. Musk, the engines should produce a force of at least 170 metric tons to be used for the project and during the recent test flight. It has been able to surpass that easily. He further claimed that as they shifted the engine to cryogenic propellant from the water propellant system that is used now, there will be a further increase in power, almost up to 20 %.
Raptor is the first engine developed by SpaceX that is methane-fuelled and is similar to BE-4 launched by a company owned by Jeff Bezos called Blue Origin. The Raptor is being built in California and being tested at McGregor, Texas. The Starship Rocket is believed to have 7 Raptor engines loaded in it while the Super Heavy spacecraft will have 31 of the same.