Boom! SpaceX puts its upcoming Starship engine through its paces in a video shared Friday, which shows the Raptor engine completing a full-heat test fire at the company’s rocket development facilities..
The 15-second clip, shared via, shows a new vacuum variant of the Raptor engine during a test at McGregor, Texas facility. This variant of the raptor engine will help the starship travel through the vacuum of space, as opposed to the smaller sea level variants that have been demonstrated so far..
The new variant is a beast: a previous picture shared by SpaceX showed the new version about the previous, with a relatively small human for scale..
It’s an exciting step forward in what is perhaps SpaceX’s most ambitious project.. The company is developing the Starship at its Boca Chica facility in Texas, a stainless steel behemoth that can reach up to 100 people or 150 tons at a time into space.. The ship will measure around 400 feet when paired with Super Heavy booster.
SpaceX raptor, with sea-level variant on the left and vacuum variant on the right.
The ship is also destined for large missions. It is designed to be fully reusable, and it’s fueled by liquid oxygen and methane. Astronauts could use the ship to fly to Mars, refuel using the planet’s resources and either return home or venture further out to establish a planet-hopping network along the way.. CEO Elon Musk has outlined plans to send the first humans to Mars by mid-2020s and to establish a full-blown city by 2050..
This video could be just a glimpse of the engine that will take the first humans to Mars..
The clip shows the impressive “mach diamonds” that form in the wake of the engine.. This phenomenon occurs when there is a mismatch in pressure from the gases that come from the engine and surrounding atmosphere. The high-pressure gas expands into the low pressure atmosphere but gets forced back due to shock waves.. In 2017, it was explained that these diamonds can form behind fighter jets and that it is also possible to make using a home experiment..
And what would be the power of this new engine?. This measures how much movement you get from each fuel unit used. explains how teams arrive at that figure, but the important thing to note is that it can be measured in seconds..
A 2013 explained that the Merlin engine used for its current Falcon 9 launches had a specific impulse of 282 seconds for sea level and a specific impulse of 311 seconds for the vacuum.. In September 2019 Musk said that the sea-level Raptor Engine is around 350 seconds and it can reach 380 seconds for the vacuum-optimized variants.
The Starship is expected to have six engines, while the Super Heavy variant that will help the ship escape Earth is expected to have 28 engines. In short the emergent ship will have a serious amount of power helping it to meet its goals..
The Inverse Analysis – SpaceX appears to be heading in to its plans for more ambitious tests.. Prototype models of the ship have completed hoops tests for reaching 150 meters or 500 feet in the air so far.. These tests have only used a single rover engine: SpaceX is expected to add more engines for more complicated tests, like the launch up to 20 kilometers to meet the challenge.
SpaceX is aiming to complete an orbital test flight sometime next year.. Next the company is aiming to travel to the Moon, Mars and beyond with the final ship. This video could be a demonstration of the engine that will motor these ships in action.