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New SpaceX rocket generates 147,000 pounds of thrust in test video

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SpaceX has released a quick video showing the power of its latest rocket engine

SpaceX Merlin 1D booster
SpaceX Merlin 1D booster

SpaceX, the private space transport firm headed up by PayPal founder Elon Musk, has released a minute-long video showcasing the latest improvements to its Merlin series of boosters. Featuring part of a 185-second test, the video shows the Merlin 1D rocket — billed as "the most efficient booster engine ever built" — producing 147,000 pounds of thrust in a stationary position, pummeling the ground beneath it with flames.

According to the official SpaceX press release, the test shows that the rocket can achieve "the full duration and power required for a Falcon 9 rocket launch," with the engine's first real-world deployment expected to come at some point in 2013. Using fewer parts and more robotic construction, it should easily exceed the performance of its older brother the 1C, which helped launch the capsule that successfully docked with the International Space Station last month.