The company he tweeted some ferocious footage of “a full-life test fire of the Raptor Vacuum engine at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas” on Thursday. It is a blast.
Look closely and you will notice a small glow before the full engine kicks in. “The pre-burners light up, then the main chamber”, Musk explained on Twitter.
Raptor engines are designed to bring the next generation spaceship into orbit. But SpaceX is looking far beyond Earth and has its ownand any trips to Mars. They will need some powerful engines to accomplish these goals.
To get an idea of the difference between a normal Raptor made to work well at sea level and the Raptor Vacuum, check out The SpaceX photo shows a human being to scale.
Notice the dramatic difference in size between the bell-shaped sections. Starship may end up using a mix of engines.
Engine tests are some of the most spectacular moments in spacecraft development. A feast of fiery energy and a preview of Earth-shaking launches await for SpaceX aiming to send the spaceship into orbit.