SpaceX’s Starship Program suffered major setbacks Monday night, after the test of Super Heavy boosters prototypes was abandoned Monday night.
Video from the SpaceX facility, Boca Chica (Texas), shows the large flame covering boosters at rocket’s base. The explosion sent smoke and debris flying.
Despite the huge fire and heavy smoke, no injuries were reported.
This test is a simulation of how the rocket would launch during real launches.
SpaceX CEO Elon Muss originally tweeted that everything went as expected. However, he soon removed that tweet and replaced it with a post describing the test as “actually not great .”
He took the time also to confirm that the SpaceX team was working towards solving the problem.
Yeah. Actually, not so good. The team is currently assessing the damage.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 11, 2022
“Cryogenic Fuel is a challenge as it evaporates and creates fuel-air explosion risks in partially oxygenated atmospheres like Earth,” Musk stated in a tweet. We have many sensors that can detect it. More later.”
Mr. Musk maintained, however, that the problem is not with spin start testing. He said that because of the complexity involved with Raptor engines and the need to spin test them all simultaneously, it is unlikely that any other 33 engines will be tested at once.
SpaceX saw many different explosions and fires during rocket launches before it was launched successfully in May 2021..
Yesterday’s explosion could also cause delays in the Starship’s first orbital flight. This was originally scheduled for the summer.
NASA selected the SpaceX Starship for its Artemis mission to the Moon. It remains to be determined how yesterday’s blast will impact the Starship’s standing in NASA.