Avaldati 21 juuli 2021
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SpaceX Insane Raptor engines power the Starship that Musk is taking to Mars. What makes them so good, and why are they called the King of rocket engines?
This is a sneak peek into the Insane Engineering of SpaceX's Raptor Engine!
The Starship is nothing without its Raptor engines. They produce the thrust to help the Starship escape the earth's gravitational pull and propel it on its interplanetary journeys.
The thrust they produce has to be enormous, as the Starship is meant to lift heavy payloads of up to 100 tons. This is important if Musk's dream of planting people on Mars is to materialize. All the stuff necessary for life will be transported to the planet by the Starship.
SpaceX is not short of powerful rockets. Part of its roster of spacecraft is the Falcon 9, which is partially reusable. It is capable of blasting payloads up to 22,800 kg to low earth orbit. Falcon 9 is powered by the Merlin engine, developed in-house by SpaceX. It uses oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene as the propellant and can produce 854 kilonewton of thrust at sea level and 981 kilonewton in a vacuum.
However, the Starship needed something more powerful, and SpaceX decided to build a new engine, naming it the Raptor. With the design, SpaceX is introducing lots of insane concepts that few rocket companies have tried.
The result is a beast masquerading as a rocket engine. Each Raptor engine weighs about 1.5 tonnes and will supply 11 million horsepower to the Starship, the equivalent of four Hoover Dams!
By comparison, the Bugatti Veyron, one of the most powerful sports cars ever made, has an engine that weighs one-third but cannot produce more than 1,200 horsepower.
The exhaust of the Raptor engine is expelled at over ten times the speed of sound. If that is not crazy enough for you, the fuel in the chamber burns at temperatures high enough to melt the chamber's walls!
If you wonder why the wall does not melt, that's because of the clever way the flame is kept away from the walls by manipulating the flow of the gas. Super cold fuel is also pumped through the walls as additional security.
The Raptor engine works like most rockets do, expelling gases fast enough to push the spacecraft forward. However, a lot of clever engineering makes the Raptor a mighty rocket.
The engines depart in their design from standard fare for rockets,, as SpaceX opted for a full-flow staged combustion cycle. Inside, engine ignition is handled by dual-redundant spark-plug-lit torch igniters, which means there is no need for a dedicated, consumable igniter fluid, as found in the Merlin.
The Raptor combines methane and oxygen that is deeply cooled for propellant, near their freezing point: this way, the tank stores.
At such low temperatures, the propellant is denser, which increases the overall performance of the engine.
Methane is better fuel because of its higher performance and lower cost than kerosene or hydrogen-based propellants.
Methane is far easier to store than hydrogen as it requires less effort to keep it cool at cryogenic levels. It also weighs less than hydrogen, meaning more methane can be stored in the same tank.
Methane is better than kerosene as the latter forms residue during burning, known as coking, limiting the rocket's reusability.
The higher efficiency means with almost the same size as the Merlin engine, the Raptor engine produces far higher pressure and thrust.
There is simply no other rocket engine in existence capable of producing as much energy using liquid methane and oxygen as propellant.
The development of the Raptor engine is incredibly impressive. Especially when you consider that the CEO Elon Musk didn't study anything rocket science in school but taught himself everything by listening to experts.To keep improving on my videos, I took a class on Skillshare. (Video sequence)EEpushr Marcus Brownlee helped me improve my editing skills and workflow.Our sponsor Skillshare offers thousands of classes on helpful topics.EEpushr "Nathaniel Drew" has a great class on how to unlock your creativity.Thomas Frank has a class where he shows how to become more productive and integrate a system into your workflow.