SpaceX successfully test-fires rocket engine Raptor

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According to Musk, this represents the "First firing of Starship Raptor flight engine", implying that this is the first time the now-completed design has been assembled and fired in its intended spaceflight configuration.

Elon Musk has lifted the veil on his "radically redesigned" Raptor engine, which will one day power the Super Heavy rocket and Starship on missions to the moon and beyond.

The two-second test fire at SpaceX's McGregor, Texas, test facility, which Musk announced via Twitter on Sunday, marks a major coup for the Hawthorne company's rocket engine development. SpaceX is now building a prototype of the rocket at its facility near Brownsville, Texas.

The videos show the rocket engine firing, and thus creating a wave of multicoloured flames.

The entire hollow nosecone broke off, and at the time, Musk said it would take a few weeks to fix.

Back in December, Musk tweeted that he had redesigned the engine. The Super Heavy mounts 31 Raptor engines, while the Starship has seven.

Separate follow-on versions would be customized for use on the Starship or on the Super Heavy, packing a punch of as much as 550,000 pounds each at liftoff.

Raptor is the engine SpaceX intends to use to eventually get to Mars, which is why it has roughly twice the thrust of the Merlin 1D engine used in the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Showing the engine in action on Twitter, the entrepreneur said he was "so proud" of the work carried out by his team at SpaceX, who recently learned that workforce numbers at the company would be cut by around 10pc.

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