The inventor, founder, and owner of the SpaceX space company Elon Musk said in an interview with Everyday Astronaut that when creating a Raptor rocket engine, he is inspired, among other things, by Russian developments.
“I’m trying to dispel the misconception that construction is the most difficult thing. This is not the most difficult thing. There have already been many wonderful rocket designs. I spend a lot of time studying the design of Russian rocket engines. There are wonderful Russian engines, they (Russia) have been engaged in liquid rocket engines for a long time, and I have made literally hundreds of different designs,” he said.
According to the inventor, the problem is not whether it is possible to create a rocket with a liquid engine — this task has already been completed.
“Of course, our engine is with a higher pressure than before, and it is with full gasification of burns components. But these are relatively small improvements in relation to what the Russians have already done. The super — difficult thing in Raptor is this: how to make a Raptor with a cost per ton of thrust less than a thousand dollars,” Musk explained.
According to him, if the cost price can be reduced, then humanity can become a civilization living on several planets.
Raptor is a closed-cycle rocket engine that runs on liquid methane and oxygen. Musk expects to use it on the Starship ship.