By | Rachel Brooks
Staff | Telegraph Local
Above, footage of the explosion from Space.com.
SpaceX’s Starship SN4 prototype explodes after rocket engine test. TechCrunch reported within the last hour that SpaceX had conducted a launch vehicle prototype test on Friday one day before the scheduled space flight mission. No immediate injuries with indicated within the last half hour, as reproted by The Guardian.
SpaceX was conducting another static fire test of the Raptor engine in Starship SN4 prototype when the test vehicle exploded. The test vehicle exploded on the test stand in Boca Chica, Texas. It is unclear if the test launch will have any bearing on the decision to launch a similar rocket scheduled for space flight from Florida. However, Ted Fellow Katie Mack states that the incident for a rocket that is unrelated to Crew Dragon. Mack stated that the rocket that exploded was a Starship rocket, which has no model similarity to hold any bearing on the Saturday launch. Dragon Crew flies the Crew Dragon/Dragon 2. Learn more about Crew Dragon at Space X’s website. Get the facts on the DM-2 flight via NASA.gov. See facts regarding SN4 from Space.com.
Citing SpaceX, Crew Dragon flies with a Draco system that has 16 engines. It is equipped with Draco thrusters. Starship uses the Raptor system, a fully reusable engine. Their model is a completely different design, see more from the site’s graphics.
TechCrunch reported that the engine explosion occurred at 1:49pm Friday in Texas, approximately two minutes after its engine test fire. Telegraph Local is working to confirm whether or not anyone was injured in the explosion of the engine.
Local news station KXAN NBC reports that the explosion was caught on NASA’s camera. NBC states that the explosion emitted a rather large plume of fire and was followed by a sonic boom. The blast was described as a “wave that shot into the sky.” It took it a few seconds to reach the eyes of onlookers watching from Highway 4. Highway 4 is approximately one-half mile from the Boca Chica Beach test facility. The blast was so loud that it shook cars and set their alarms off. After this, construction workers at the SpaceX facility ran out to a chain-link fence to see what was happening.
Police closed down the highway. Border Reporter managed to get through just before that. Border Report was on the way to film a scheduled story in anticipation of the Saturday launch of a SpaceX craft. The planned manned launch of a similar SpaceX craft will take place in Florida.
NBC states that more black smoke was seen in the area just before 3pm local time as fire broke out across the area.
Space.com likewise followed up after the rattling blast. Space.com states that the video of the incident was provided by the South Padre Island tourism site SPadre.com. Space.com states that the explosion occurred approximately one minute after the test launch. NBC states two minutes. It is likely that it was somewhere between one and two minutes of time that elapsed.
President Trump, a strong advocate of the space program and of the Space Force plan, has not yet publicly commented via social media on the SpaceX incident. It is likely due to the fact that he was presenting a speech regarding the U.S. relationship with China at or near the time of the incident. He tweeted this press event as of the last hour. Mr. Trump has been scheduled to return to his adoptive state of Florida for the SpaceX launch intended for Saturday. It is unclear if that plan has been changed due to the explosion incident. Mr. Trump was reported to have been in Florida onMay 27, as reported by People.com. He had initially arrived to attend the Wednesday space flight launch event that was delayed due to the weather.
AccuWeather news reported that bad weather on Saturday has the potential to postpone the project further. Yet, with this incident, it is unclear how long it will be before NASA chooses to proceed with the launch of the other rocket.