The fourth prototype (Serial Number 4) of the rocket Starship of SpaceX exploded on the company’s test site in Texas on Friday. Shortly after SpaceX started the engine on the test rocket, a huge fireball completely enveloped the vehicle as can be seen in the spectacular NASA recording.
This is an unrelated test mission in collaboration with NASA who will send two astronauts to the International Space Station. Involving people, the rocket will be used for that mission Falcon 9 with over 100 successful flights. Just today, when it will be 21:22 in Italy, a new attempt will be made to launch SpaceX Crew Dragon, after the first, scheduled for May 27, was postponed due to bad weather.
The CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk he told Aviation Week that SpaceX plans to put in place the development of Starship is paused to focus on launch with crew. “I redirected SpaceX’s priorities to focus on launching the crew,” Musk said in the podcast interview published May 26. “So this will slow things down on the Starship front.”
SpaceX Starship one of the most futuristic projects of Elon Musk: this is the spacecraft that, together with the rocket (Super Heavy), could one day bring human beings on the moon come on Mars. The path to its complete realization for a long time (and not without unexpected events).
Several were made trial versions of Starship on the Texan site of Boca Chica. When the engine was started on Friday Raptor main on the last prototype, inside the fifth static fire test conducted in the past two weeks, the explosion occurred which also damaged part of the launch pad.
Of course the prototype was also lost, and this is the fourth trial version that SpaceX loses during the tests. The Serial Number 4 prototype went further in the endurance tests than the previous ones, but it is unlikely that any of the parts can be recovered, while other types of damage are found in the area surrounding the launch platform. It is unclear whether staff members were injured.
If the test was successful, SpaceX would have run a low altitude flight test in the next days after obtaining the relevant authorization from Federal Aviation Administration.
AstronautiCAST (@AstronautiCAST) May 29, 2020