Elon Musk has shared videos of the first test firing of SpaceX’s Raptor flight engine that will eventually be used on its Starship spacecraft.
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 10%.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2019
“Green tinge is either camera saturation or a tiny bit of copper from the chamber,” he explained in a tweet.
SpaceX has been working on the Raptor engines for a number of years with redesigns along the way, as it gears up towards eventually sending people around the moon. Starship – which was renamed from Big Falcon Rocket in November – will use seven of the engines in total.
Last year, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa was announced as SpaceX’s first private traveller on the moon trip, scheduled to take place in 2023.
However, the Starship prototype recently suffered a minor setback, after high winds in Texas blew the top half of the hopper off.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 11, 2019
The upper cone portion of the stainless steel vehicle was thrown aside at the company’s site in Boca Chica, Texas, weeks after Elon Musk revealed images of the Starship beginning to take shape.
“50 mph winds broke the mooring blocks late last night & fairing was blown over,” Mr Musk tweeted at the time. “Will take a few weeks to repair.”
The SpaceX founder had previously indicated that the test rocket could be ready for trial flights within four weeks, but admitted it could be as long as eight weeks when unforeseen issues are factored in.