The space exploration company founded by billionaire Elon Musk has successfully tested a new rocket engine that could one day help humans establish life on Mars.
Tesla CEO Musk, who is also the founder of SpaceX, tweeted on Sunday evening that the company had successfully achieved the first firing of the Raptor interplanetary transport engine.
The methane-fueled engine is expected to form part of the Dragon rocket, with Musk suggesting the engines are three times more powerful than the current Merlin engines that SpaceX uses on its Falcon 9 rocket.
The engine was fired at the company's McGregor, Texas facility, according to a report by tech website Engadget and comes ahead of a long-awaited speech by Elon Musk.
USA Today reported on Sunday that Musk would outline his ideas for how to establish a city on Mars within a decade. The speech is due to be held at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Musk is expected to detail a new system called the "Mars Colonial Transporter," that could deliver 100 people to the planet Mars.