SpaceX propulsion test is shown in this image from a recent first firing of the Raptor interplanetary transport engine in McGregor, Texas, US and released by Elon Musk on social media on September 25, 2016. (Photo: VCG)
"First firing of Starship Raptor flight engine! So proud of great work by @SpaceX team," founder and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk tweeted late Sunday night.
Raptor is capable of 200 tons of thrust, which in Musk's words could help "reach the moon as fast as possible."
He also said on Friday that the Raptor would be further optimized for operations in vacuum and at sea level.
Local media reported that the success paves the way for the hop-test debut of the Starship prototype designed for human travel to Mars, which is expected to take place in two to three months.