Raptor Interplanetary Engine Test Fired By Space X

Elon Musk, head of Space X and Tesla has offered up some details on the engine that Space X plans to use to travel the distances between planets. Musk didn't offered up full details on the engine, but did give us some insight into the powerful new rocket. Musk says that the engine is called the Raptor interplanetary transport engine.

The goal for the production engine is a specific impulse of 382 seconds and thrust of 3MN at 300 bar. Musk noted that 3MN is about 310 metric tons of thrust. Other details include that the chamber pressure is almost 3x that of Merlin making the engine about the same size for a given area ratio.

We already know what Tesla wants to do with this engine; the company has stated an ambitious goal of putting a spacecraft on Mars by 2018. This first spacecraft to the Red planet won't be a manned mission, a manned mission will come later. NASA plans to put humans on Mars by 2030. All SpaceX has noted so far about its mission is that more details will be coming soon. When the plans were announced SpaceX tweeted plans to "send a Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018. Red Dragons will inform overall Mars architecture, details to come."

SpaceX has ties to NASA and provides rocket engines and heavy launch capabilities to the agency that allows the US to send resupply missions to the ISS to keep operations running on the space station. SpaceX isn't afraid to fail and has in the past had multiple first stage landing failures after successful launches. Eventually SpaceX was able to land its first stage rocket on a drone ship in the ocean.