SpaceX still targeting 2019 BFR hop testing of upper stage

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.