SpaceX COO and President Gwynne Shotwell confirmed that SpaceX is still targeting integrated BFR tests in 2019, in the form of hops with the next-gen rocket’s upper stage (known as BFS). Shotwell said this at a Future of Space conference at a DARPA event.
The SpaceX raptor will be about two times as powerful as the Block 5 Merlin 1D engines that power SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Heavy rockets. The Raptor will generate 1700 kN (~380,000 lbf) of thrust. The current Merlin 1D’s current ~850 kN (~190,000 lbf) thrust rating.
Shotwell: think we’ll be “hopping” the second stage of BFR (the BFS) late next year. #DARPA60
— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) September 6, 2018