How SpaceX ignited a brand new Raptor engine on Starship with out an explosion

SpaceX ignites a vacuum-optimized Raptor engine attached to Starship on Thursday, October 21.

Enlarge / SpaceX ignites a vacuum-optimized Raptor engine connected to Starship on Thursday, October 21. (credit score: SpaceX)

SpaceX took one other step on Thursday night towards validating the rocket engine know-how that can energy its Starship rocket. For the primary time, engineers on the firm ignited a vacuum model of a Raptor rocket engine that had been connected to the Starship higher stage.

The test-firing at sundown in South Texas lasted only some seconds. Nevertheless it seems to have been profitable, and it checks one other field in a sequence of technical exams SpaceX should full earlier than launching Starship on a Tremendous Heavy rocket for an orbital check flight. This will occur someday in early 2022.

SpaceX has test-fired its Starship car with Raptor engines earlier than, in fact. In some prototype check flights, the car has ascended as much as about 10 km beneath the facility of as much as three Raptor “sea stage” engines. However it’s fairly one other factor to check a rocket with a model of Raptor optimized to function within the vacuum of area.

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