Elon Musk's SpaceX Rocket Booster Blasts Into Flames During Test Firing

Elon Musk's SpaceX for its next-generation Starship spacecraft blasted into flames on Monday during a ground test firing in Texas.
Elon Musk's SpaceX Rocket Booster Blasts Into Flames During Test Firing

A booster rocket which is developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX for its next-generation Starship spacecraft blasted into flames on Monday during a ground test firing in Texas, facing a likely setback to Musk's goal of launching the Starship to orbit later this year.

"Yeah, that's not good. The team is examining the damage "Musk tweeted shortly after the early evening explosion of the Super Heavy Booster 7 prototype, as witnessed on NASA Spaceflight's webcast. There was no immediate sign of injury.

Rocket booster remained upright and secured to the test gantry afterward

The source of the explosion, which consumed the base of the rocket in a ball of flames and thick smoke and appeared to shake the video camera, was unknown, though the booster remained upright and secured to the test gantry afterward.

The accident happened during a days-long static fire test campaign of the launcher in Boca Chica, Texas, which is outfitted with an array of 33 Raptor engines for use in an upcoming uncrewed orbital test mission SpaceX hoped to undertake later this year.

The full Starship, which will stand 394 feet (120 meters) tall when combined with its super-heavy first-stage rocket, is SpaceX's next-generation launch vehicle at the heart of Musk's goals to make human space travel more accessible and common.

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SpaceX lost four prototypes of the Starship itself in a series of high-altitude test

When contacted about Monday's explosion, SpaceX did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

When asked if it will examine the explosion, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) likewise did not react.

SpaceX lost four prototypes of the Starship itself in a series of high-altitude test missions that ended in explosions in late 2020 and early 2021. In May 2021, the Starship prototype successfully landed.

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