The booster rocket that Elon Musk’s SpaceX is building for its next-generation spacecraft has caught fire.Starship“, in a ground test launch in Texas on Monday, marking a potential setback to Musk’s goal of putting a starship into orbit this year.
After the explosion of the “Super Heavy Booster 7” missile on Monday evening, Musk wrote in a tweet on Twitter: “Yes, it’s bad. Team is working on damage assessment.”
He also said that the explosion that hit the launch pad on Tuesday, leaving flames and thick smoke, was related to an engine start test, adding, “In the future, we won’t be doing an engine start test for everyone. Thirty-three engines at once.”
Additionally, SpaceX did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on Monday’s incident, and the US Federal Aviation Administration did not respond to a Reuters question about whether it would investigate the explosion.
The crash was recorded live on the NASA Spaceflight website, but no one was injured so far.
referred to as vehicleStarshipThe 120-meter-long spacecraft, paired with an ultra-heavy propulsion rocket, is the company’s next-generation launch vehicle and comes amid Musk’s ambitions to make human spaceflight cheaper and more frequent.
In late 2020 and early 2021, SpaceX lost four prototypes of the same spacecraft in high-altitude test launches, return landing attempts ended in explosions, and a Starship prototype could finally land safely in May 2021.
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