After the shelved space launch tagged as history-making the collaboration of SpaceX and NASA’s of two astronauts into earth’s orbit on Thursday, an unfortunate and not expected failure happened Friday afternoon.
Starship SN4 prototype blew up on its test stand in Boca Chica, Texas.
This time it involved the explosion of the Raptor engine of SpaceX’s Starship SN4 prototye. Observers described the event as “horribly spectacular failure.”
It was the biggest explosion yet experienced by SpaceX where testing prototypes for a Mars rocket based on its Texas site.
“A resident who lives nearby — just 2 miles away — said it felt like an earthquake,” The Atlantic’s Marina Karen reported on Friday. Koren noted that at this point it doesn’t appear anyone in the surrounding community was hurt in the massive blast which shook the area for miles.
The engine explosion displayed a bright fireball ripping high into the air with rocket debris flying which occurred just about two minutes after the engine test fire run had been completed.
The incident happened at 1:49 (US) central time, and set off a flurry of commentary over the safety of tomorrow’s launch with humans carried to space.
Imagine being a SpaceX/NASA astronaut that’s scheduled for lift off tomorrow and watching this happen today. That’s gotta be a different kind of anxiety.— Pablo Escobarner (blue check) (@PabloEscobarner) May 29, 2020
(this is a prototype rocket and not the one in use tomorrow, but still 🥴) pic.twitter.com/bdmROuNETN
This recent test and failure follows the same pattern of prior stress tests of Starship prototypes which ended in similar disaster.
The explosion was uncalled for when NASA and SpaceX in collaboration are sending a manned space launch for the International Space Station on Saturday if the weather favors the lift-off of the Dragon spacecraft.
It cast doubt and discomfort on many observers even as a different prototype and different rocket will be used in the manned expedition.
Tomorrow’s re-scheduled spacelaunch of two American astronauts by NASA and SpaceX bound for the International Space Station will broadcast live on NASA TV and online platforms.