Tech billionaire Elon Musk is convinced that humans must colonize Mars with a million people if humanity is to survive long term. To that effect, he almost went broke funding his aerospace company SpaceX in 2008 to keep developing next-generation rockets. And on Tuesday, at a challenging moment in the 14-year-old company’s history, Musk plans to unveil his grand vision: to turn Mars into a “backup drive” and save humanity. The big announcement is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Watch it live at the end of this post.) But ahead of that highly anticipated speech, Musk shared on Twitter early Monday morning the first photo of a powerful rocket engine, dubbed Raptor, designed to be part of his “Interplanetary Transport System,” or ITS, to get to Mars: <!– /5908/ This isn’t the first the world has heard about the Raptor engine. It is, however, definitely the first photo we’ve seen of Raptor spitting out fire. The image shows a static fire test, which is when a cone-shaped rocket engine is hooked up to a fuel source, ignited, and pushed to the limits to measure its performance. The Raptor’s fuel is almost certainly… Read full this story
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