“SpaceX propulsion just achieved the first firing of the Raptor interplanetary transport engine,” Elon Musk tweeted on Monday.
SpaceX propulsion just achieved first firing of the Raptor interplanetary transport engine pic.twitter.com/vRleyJvBkx— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 26 сентября 2016 г.
Raptor is a new generation methane-fueled rocket engine designed expressly for the company’s upcoming gigantic Red Dragon rocket to ferry humans to the Red Planet.
Raptor packs about three times more punch than the Merlin rockets that power SpaceX’s liquid oxygen-propelled Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.
Elon Musk will elaborate on his new-generation Mars-bound spaceship during an international conference on astronautics which opens in Mexico on Tuesday, Engadget Internet portal reported.
Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 with the goal of "enabling people to live on other planets," and in April announced that the company’s first unmanned mission to Mars would launch in 2018 using his company’s Falcon heavy rocket.
He said he is motivated to live long enough to die on Mars, which he believes will be colonized by humans who seek a direct, rather than a representative, democracy.