SpaceX just fired its new Starship engine and it sure was neat

Elon Musk Tweets New Images of Starship Super Heavy's Raptor Engine

Elon Musk Twitter

Follow Elon Musk's Twitter and SpaceX's Twitter for more updates on the Raptor engine's progress.

SpaceX has been working on the Raptor engine, powered by methane and liquid oxygen propellants, for several years, and conducted the first test of a developmental version of the engine in September 2016. This test happened without major mishap.

During these early test firings, rocket scientists will focus on the color of the fame, which is key for the Raptor engine's health: Ars Technica noted that the engine's exhaust turned green at the end of the test firing. It could be an interpretation of the extreme light with which the engine blasted - the camera sensor might not have been able to handle such a load.

This odd color was likely due to to the slight burning of copper liner located in the engine's chamber. This hopper will debut soon, Musk has said - perhaps within the next month or so, if everything goes according to plan. "Spark plugs ignite dual blow torches that ignite preburners and [the] main chamber".

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Prior to the damages, Musk shared images of the progress on the test hopper as engineers work to bring it to life.

"50 miles per hour winds broke the mooring blocks late last night & fairing was blown over", Mr Musk tweeted at the time.

It's unlikely that this specific engine will find its way to the planet Mars - but engines based on the tests this unit performs - they probably will.

Elon Musk tweeted footage of Space X's Starship Raptor engine in action. Development of the BE-4 will be completed later year, Bob Smith, chief executive of Blue Origin, said at a January 25 groundbreaking for a new factory in Huntsville, Alabama, that will produce the engine for both United Launch Alliance's Vulcan and the company's own New Glenn rocket.

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