The first vacuum Raptor — the in-space version of Starship’s Raptor engine — blazed up in a debut test at SpaceX’s development facility in McGregor, Texas, company representatives announced via Twitter last night (Sept. 24).

The vacuum Raptor survived the test, which occurred about three weeks after the engine departed SpaceX’s Los Angeles-area rocket factory for McGregor. (SpaceX announced on Sept. 4 that the pioneering engine had been shipped to the Texas proving ground.) 

Completed a full duration test fire of the Raptor Vacuum engine at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas 25, 2020

Last night’s tweet described the test as “full duration.” It’s unclear exactly how long the burn lasted; the tweet includes a 15-second video, which fades to black with the vacuum Raptor still going strong.

The vacuum Raptor is similar to the “sea-level” version of the engine but features a much bigger nozzle, which improves efficiency in the space environment. Starship will sport three of each Raptor variant, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has said.

Those six engines will power the 165-foot-tall (50 meters) Starship to distant destinations such as the moon and Mars. The vehicle will be powerful enough to launch itself off the surface of those two rocky bodies, but it will need help escaping Earth’s deep gravity well. So, Starship will leave our planet atop a giant rocket called Super Heavy, which will be propelled by about 30 sea-level Raptors of its own.

Both Super Heavy and Starship will be completely and rapidly reusable, SpaceX has said. Musk envisions the duo slashing the cost of spaceflight so dramatically that ambitious feats such as Mars colonization become economically feasible.

SpaceX is iterating toward the final version of Starship via a succession of prototypes, some of which have already gotten off the ground. The single-engine SN5 and SN6 vehicles recently made 500-foot-high (150 meters) test hops, and the three-engine SN8 is gearing up for a 12-mile-high (20 kilometers) flight of its own in the near future.  

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook. 

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: [email protected]

Space is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Visit our corporate site.


SpaceX, Elon Musk, Vacuum engine

World news – CA – SpaceX fires up in-space version of Starship’s Raptor engine for 1st time (video)

En s’appuyant sur ses expertises dans les domaines du digital, des technologies et des process , CSS Engineering vous accompagne dans vos chantiers de transformation les plus ambitieux et vous aide à faire émerger de nouvelles idées, de nouvelles offres, de nouveaux modes de collaboration, de nouvelles manières de produire et de vendre.

CSS Engineering s’implique dans les projets de chaque client comme si c’était les siens. Nous croyons qu’une société de conseil devrait être plus que d’un conseiller. Nous nous mettons à la place de nos clients, pour aligner nos incitations à leurs objectifs, et collaborer pour débloquer le plein potentiel de leur entreprise. Cela établit des relations profondes et agréables.

Nos services:

  1. Création des sites web professionnels
  2. Hébergement web haute performance et illimité
  3. Vente et installation des caméras de vidéo surveillance
  4. Vente et installation des système de sécurité et d’alarme
  5. E-Marketing

Toutes nos réalisations ici


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here