SpaceX has completed a set of tests for a company-built engine intended to power the landing platform for NASA’s Artemis III and Artemis IV lunar missions.
The spacecraft manufacturer said Thursday that it had conducted a Starship Human Landing System test last month that demonstrated the Raptor engine’s performance in extreme cold conditions. The test is the latest in a series of milestones dating back to November 2021, when SpaceX fired up the same engine for 280 seconds to showcase its performance during the landing phase of a lunar mission.
SpaceX noted that the tests are meant to offer early mission-like validation for the essential systems required for transporting astronauts to and from the moon.
Previously, the California-based company secured a $2.9 billion contract from NASA to develop Starship into a reusable launch and landing platform for space missions.
The Raptor engines will undergo their next evaluation in SpaceX’s second integrated flight test involving both the Starship and the heavy-lift launch Super Heavy vehicle.