The Starship SN4 prototype, built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company for interplanetary flights, has blown up after an engine test in Texas. It’s already the third prototype to explode this year.
A live broadcast on NASA’s website showed white smoke coming out of the spacecraft before it was obliterated in a massive explosion.
A Starship prototype just exploded in Boca Chica, Texas during static fire testing. SpaceX was granted an FAA license yesterday to conduct suborbital flights, not sure when those first test flights will happen. Video/live feed from @NASASpaceflight pic.twitter.com/dqnQv1lqBV
— Joey Roulette (@joroulette) May 29, 2020
SpaceX were carrying out fire tests of its methane Raptor engine as part of the Starship SN4 launch trial at the range in Boca Chica on Friday.
The blast occurred after the test was already completed and was caused by a fuel leak, according to the broadcast.
Two other Starship SN4 prototypes exploded during testing in February and April when liquid nitrogen was pumped into them.
The Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy booster together make the ‘Starship system,’ which Musk hopes will someday be able to deliver people and cargo to Earth’s orbit as well as to the Moon.
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