SpaceX’s latest Starship booster test ends with an explosion

SpaceX has long been preparing for the spacecraft’s first orbital test flight, but this significant milestone could be delayed again. A super-heavy booster designed for its massive launch vehicle has exploded at the company’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Corresponding NASA space travel, who uploaded a video of the incident, the booster caught fire while the company was testing its Raptor engines. As gizmodo notes that Super Heavy’s current prototype, the Booster 7, is fitted with 33 Version 2 Raptor engines.

As answer to NASA Spaceflight In a tweet about the blast, Musk said it was “actually not good” and his team was assessing the damage. He also uncovered that this issue was specific to the engine spin-launch test that SpaceX had conducted — “Raptor has a complex launch sequence,” he said in passing — and that going forward the company “will not spin-launch all 33 engines.” will at once.”

Several Starship rocket prototypes had exploded in the past for various reasons before the company finally managed its first successful launch and landing sequence in May 2021. Some of the boosters exploded during ground tests, while others caught fire after Starship had already landed after test flights. It wasn’t just exploding spacecraft that had contributed to delaying the heavy-lift spacecraft’s orbital test flight — the company’s plans were also held up by regulatory approvals. The FAA, for example, has repeatedly extended its environmental review of SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch site. Without this approval, the company cannot launch the spacecraft from the facility. The agency eventually approved a final environmental impact assessment of Boca Chica’s Starship launch proposal in June.

Last month, Musk said Starship will be “ready to fly” in July, but that incident will likely impact the company’s schedule. In a tweet, Musk said: “[b]”Vehicle’s aces appear fine by flashlight” when they reviewed it, but it remains to be seen how bad the damage was and how much it will affect the company’s plans for the vehicle’s first orbital flight.

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