Methane engine "Raptor" broke the record RD-180

    An hour ago, Ilon Musk announced a new record among rocket engines. The flight version of the Raptor engine reached a record 268.9 bar of pressure in the combustion chamber, which exceeds the current record among the RD of 267 bar set in the distant 90s with the RD-180 engine.

    Last month, SpaceX began building and setting up Starhopper, a test setup that will be a reduced Starship prototype. With the same diameter of 9 meters, it is about 30-40% lower and three new Raptor engines will be installed on it. Starhopper will work out new engines, avionics, and it is assumed that it will make small jumps already this month (here it is necessary to make an amendment to Ilon's time).

    The first copy of the flight Raptor arrived in Boca Chica a couple of weeks ago and the burnings started just a week later (February 3rd). On February 7, Musk had already announced that the required minimum thrust of 170 tons (172 tons and 257 bar of pressure) had been reached. According to him, the fuel (liquid methane) and the oxidizer (liquid oxygen) were not deeply cooled, so he suggests that it is still possible to squeeze 10–20% of the thrust after subjecting the components to cryo-cooling. Over time, they plan to achieve a pressure of 300 bar. Musk says that even greater pressure will require about 700-800 bar in the pre-combustion chambers and is on the verge of what is permitted by physics.

    By the way, Ilon says that the RD-170/180 are role models and the biography of the Queen lies on his bedside table.

    In general, Starship's progress has clearly gone faster, starting with the transition from composites to stainless steel with active drip cooling, to the construction of the Starhopper and the burning of the finished Raptor. 2019 promises to be a very exciting year for the space industry and humanity!

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