The latest Starship prototype from a SpaceX has exploded after an engine test, which took place on the 29th of May. There was a fireball seen in South Texas.
The Starship SN4 prototype exploded at around 1:49 p.m. CDT, in Texas. The explosion happened a minute after a short test of the Raptor rocket engine. However, they don’t know what caused the explosion.
SpaceX has successfully tested this Starship SN4 vehicle. They’re preparing for an upcoming large test, which might carry the rocket about 150 meters up. They’ve also received a launch license for its Starship tests. The license comes from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Starship SN4 vehicle is the latest from the series of prototypes that SpaceX has built in order to test the technologies – the technologies which are needed for a Space Launch System. We’re talking about 50 meters of the Starship rocket and its super heavy mega booster. The vehicle is supposed to carry up to 100 people at once to space, and the hope is that they would also get on Mars.
We should also mention that last month, NASA has picked Starship from SpaceX as one of the spacecraft which could be in charge of taking astronauts to the moon, as part of the agency’s Artemis Program, in 2024.
A bit of SpaceX’s history
We know that most of those Starship prototypes have actually exploded, but the CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, stated that they want to learn from every test and that they will work on them until they make them better. The first prototype of the company, Starship MK1, has been destroyed during a pressure test, back in November 2019. Then it happened again, in February, to its successor. Then, back in March 2019, the next one had successfully passed the pressure test. However, the one after that collapsed in April.