Elon Musk shares first test firing of SpaceX's Raptor flight engine

Elon Musk with rocket engine

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk checks out the nozzle of a full-scale Raptor rocket engine in advance of its first test firing

SpaceX test-fired February 3 the first flight version of the Raptor engine the company has developed for its next-generation launch system.

Elon Musk and a SpaceX illustration of its Starship rocket on Mars.

The Starship is the craft that is created to transport people across the Earth in hours and eventually carry humans to Mars.

SpaceX just took another step toward Mars.

Elon Musk has lifted the veil on his "radically redesigned" Raptor engine, which will one day power the Super Heavy rocket and Starship on missions to the moon and beyond.

Musk has been teasing his Twitter followers for days with the promise of a video of the new engine's first firing.

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

Back in December, Musk tweeted that he had redesigned the engine.

In an earlier tweet, Musk said SpaceX would start out making a 440,000-pound-thrust version of the Raptor, to be used on the Starship interplanetary spaceship as well as its Super Heavy first-stage booster.

The first rocket firing happened right around 1AM Central Time on the morning of Sunday, February 3rd, 2019.

Once testing in McGregor is complete, the Raptor will be shipped to the South Texas site to be installed on the Starship hopper test article there, with two other engines expected to follow. Merlins use kerosene and liquid oxygen (LOX) propellants, for example, whereas Raptors use liquid methane and LOX. Among those twists have been high-powered winds, which have knocked the company's test rocket to the ground and leaving it in need of weeks of fix.

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