AUG 15, 2016 7:39 AM PDT

SpaceX is Reportedly Testing New Raptor Engine for Mars Travel

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

SpaceX is reportedly in the middle of testing a new type of engine rocket that could be utilized for Martian travel. As we know, SpaceX shares a common goal with NASA of putting astronauts on Mars in the next few decades.
 

A series of rocket engines made by SpaceX.

 Image Credit: SpaceX

Dubbed the Raptor, these new engines are compact and powerful and should pack enough juice to help out in future missions of putting mankind and supplies on the red planet in our Solar System.
 
Raptor engines will feature methane and liquid oxygen-based fuel sources and should have up to three times the thrust of current engines that are pushing the company’s Falcon 9 rockets into space.
 
With one Raptor engine having approximately the same amount of thrust as one of NASA’s Space Shuttle mission engines, SpaceX’s new engines can be used in an array of up to nine to generate thrust far more powerful than the Space Shuttle engines ever produced.
 
Although SpaceX’s weaker Merlin engines will continue to power the Falcon 9 rocket for space missions, and even the upcoming Falcon Heavy for transportation missions, the newer Raptor engines are expected to power a new class of rocket that will be nicknamed Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).
 
With the BFR and the Raptor engines that get built into it, SpaceX intends to create a spacecraft known as the Mars Colonial Transporter that can be used to transport astronauts and supplies to the red planet from Earth.
 
One of the biggest problems we have in space travel today is limiting our supplies in launches because if we tried to take everything we wanted into space at one time, the rocket wouldn’t have enough power to leave the ground.
 
Because so much thrust can be achieved with a Raptor engine array, space agencies will have what they need to pack all of their supplies and astronauts into the spacecraft and still be able to achieve launch from the ground to get them where they need to go.
 
So far, SpaceX hasn’t been very open about their new Raptor engines, so the details aren’t very public at this point in time. What we do know is that SpaceX is working on them and they are a next-generation engine. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has only mentioned and talked about the Raptor engines a few times in interviews.

In other news, SpaceX successfully landed another Falcon 9 rocket over the weekend after completing the primary mission of putting a Japanese telecommunications satellite into space.

Source: Ars Technica, SpaceX

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
APR 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Expedition 62 Returns Home From the International Space Station
APR 19, 2020
Expedition 62 Returns Home From the International Space Station
After spending several months onboard the International Space Station conducting science experiments and risky spacewalk ...
APR 21, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Did This Interstellar Comet Reveal Vital Clues About its Origins?
APR 21, 2020
Did This Interstellar Comet Reveal Vital Clues About its Origins?
Oumuamua received tons of attention from astronomers once it was confirmed to be an interstellar object of unknown origi ...
MAY 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Here's What Would Happen if You Fired a Gun in Outer Space
MAY 12, 2020
Here's What Would Happen if You Fired a Gun in Outer Space
Many of the world’s greatest science fiction films depict massive battles in outer space between starships and eve ...
MAY 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Measurements Suggest Spin-Orbit Alignment for TRAPPIST-1's Exoplanets
MAY 17, 2020
Measurements Suggest Spin-Orbit Alignment for TRAPPIST-1's Exoplanets
Of all the exoplanetary systems that astronomers have discovered to date, perhaps one of the most intriguing of those is ...
JUL 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Closest Ever Images of the Sun Expose Previously Unknown Features
JUL 18, 2020
Closest Ever Images of the Sun Expose Previously Unknown Features
New images from the Solar Orbiter, a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) that launched in Feb ...
JUL 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
See Comet NEOWISE Before It Departs for 6,800 Years
JUL 19, 2020
See Comet NEOWISE Before It Departs for 6,800 Years
The NEOWISE comet will get closest to Earth on July 22 and will begin to fade from view after that.
Loading Comments...