It may still be recovering from the loss of a rockets on the launch pad earlier this month, but SpaceX is determined to press ahead with plans to send humans into space. The firm test fired one of its new Raptor'interplanetary transport engines' which the company will use to carry astronauts to Mars. The rocket engine is three times more powerful than the one on the Falcon 9 rockets. It will ultimately be used to launch SpaceX's manned spacecraft off our planet. SpaceX has test fired its a prototype of its new Raptor engine (pictured).
Last Sunday, as much of the country tuned into the Super Bowl, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and a crew of engineers were gathered in McGregor, Texas, the small city where the company maintains a rocket test site. The engine will power SpaceX's upcoming heavy-lift launch system, consisting of two components: a large rocket dubbed the Super Heavy and a crew transporter called Starship. First introduced by Musk in 2016 at a meeting of the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, the Starship transporter is designed to carry as many as 100 people to the moon and Mars. In true SpaceX fashion, both the rocket and the transporter will be reusable: able to launch, land, and repeat many times over. SpaceX tends to be private about its affairs, but not much gets past the company's biggest enthusiasts.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk is set to unveil his most ambitious plan yet - building a human colony on Mars. He hopes to send a manned spacecraft to the Red Planet within a decade, and will lay out his vision during a presentation titled'Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species' at the International Astronautical Congress in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara. Although the South Africa-born Canadian-American entrepreneur has given few details about his plan, he promised in a Washington Post interview in June that it will be'mind blowing.' Musk hopes to send a manned spacecraft to the Red Planet within a decade, and will lay out his vision during a presentation titled'Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species' at a Mexico conference. He will discuss the'long-term technical challenges that need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars,' the conference's program says. SpaceX plans to send an unmanned Dragon cargo capsule to Mars as early as 2018, paving the way for a human mission that would leave Earth in 2024 and arrive on the Red Planet the following year.
Elon Musk's Starship prototype has roared to life for the first time, as SpaceX completed a successful test firing of the 60-foot-tall stainless steel rocket ship's powerful Raptor engine, causing it to lift briefly off of the launch pad. Clouds of smoke and a blaze of fire could be seen erupting from the prototype vehicle, called Starhopper, during the static fire at SpaceX's South Texas test site late Wednesday evening. The momentary liftoff occurred at about 8:56p.m. (ET) yesterday and generated a deafening roar that was so loud it rattled the windows of nearby homes. 'Starhopper completed tethered hop,' Musk confirmed in a tweet on Wednesday. While the action didn't last very long, the test hop serves as an important baby step toward Musk's wider plan to send humans on a mission to the moon.