Musk teases world with images of Raptor test ahead of historic announcement

Elon Musk shared this picture of the first firing of the company's methalox-powered Raptor engine.

Elon Musk shared this picture of the first firing of the company’s methalox-powered Raptor engine. Credit: SpaceX

While much of the Western Hemisphere was still sound asleep on Sept. 26, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk conducted the first firing of the company’s Raptor engine. On the eve of what is expected to be a defining announcement from Musk as he outlines the NewSpace firm’s goals for Mars at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the CEO shared a couple photos and provided a few insights into the engine’s capabilities.

Although short on deep details of the engine’s performance numbers, Musk did provide enough to whet observers’ appetite.

“Production Raptor goal is specific impulse of 382 seconds and thrust of 3 MN (∼310 metric tons) at 300 bar,” Musk tweeted. “Chamber pressure is almost 3X Merlin, so engine is about the same size for a given ratio.”

Read more in my full article at SpaceFlight Insider.

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