SpaceX Starship SN4 Prototype Explodes During Engine Test Written 1 June 2020


SpaceX (2018) rendition of the Starship/Super Heavy's ascent | SpaceX; Wikipedia; CC0

CBS News reported that a “prototype using next-generation propulsion technology being developed by SpaceX for its planned heavy lift Starship rocket exploded in a towering fireball two minutes after a brief engine test firing on the Texas Gulf Coast Friday, destroying the test vehicle and its firing stand.” A “static firing earlier this week appeared to go off without a hitch[,] and on Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration approved a license for SpaceX to launch the ‘Starship prototype’ as early as next week on an up-and-down test flight to an expected altitude of up to 26,000 feet.” In Friday’s test, however, “the Raptor ignited around 2:47 p.m., fired for a few seconds and then shut down after a presumably normal ‘hot fire.’ Then, two minutes later, white vapor could be seen engulfing the base of the vehicle before it suddenly exploded in a tremendous fireball of burning propellant.”
Full Story (CBS News)