SpaceX tests a rocket that could help colonise Mars

Elon Musk suggests the methane-fueled engine is three times more powerful than the current engines used on the Falcon 9 rocket. Eventually, the rocket could help colonise Mars.

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The space exploration company founded by the billionaire Elon Musk has successfully tested a new rocket engine that could one day help humans establish life on Mars.

Mr Musk, the Tesla chief executive who is also the founder of SpaceX, tweeted that the company had achieved the first firing of the Raptor interplanetary transport engine.

The methane-fuelled engine is expected to form part of the Dragon rocket, with Mr Musk suggesting the engines are three times more powerful than the current Merlin engines that SpaceX uses on its Falcon 9 rocket.

The engine was fired at the company’s McGregor, Texas facility, according to a report by the tech website Engadget, and comes ahead of a long-awaited speech by Mr Musk.

USA Today reported that Mr Musk would outline his ideas for how to establish a city on Mars within a decade. The speech is due to be held at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Mr Musk is expected to detail a new system called the "Mars Colonial Transporter," that could deliver 100 people to the planet Mars.

* Video and content courtesy CNBC

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