MAY 31, 2020 4:12 AM PDT

Another SpaceX Starship Prototype Explodes During Testing

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Incomplete Starship prototypes are a common sight if you follow SpaceX’s plethora of rocket-centric projects, but just this past week, Starship made headlines once again after a fourth Starship prototype was observed at the center of a massive explosion that damaged the surrounding Texas-based test facility.

The first thing that probably comes to mind with the mere mention of “SpaceX” is the company’s successful crewed Demo-2 mission with NASA yesterday, and thankfully, Starship isn’t linked to Demo-2 or the Falcon 9 rocket that carried the Crew Dragon spacecraft into space. It just so happens to be an unfortunately timed loss for SpaceX being that the company set a precedent this weekend for its part in sending astronauts to space from American soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle era.

Since Starship was just a side-project of SpaceX’s, no one was actually in or near the stainless-steel prototype when it exploded, and so nobody was injured.

From what we can gather, SpaceX was merely testing engine ignition when Starship’s cryogenic fuel chamber suddenly started leaking. While the liquid oxygen wasn’t much of a threat, the same couldn’t be said about the liquid methane, which quickly flared up at the source of ignition below Starship. The aftermath speaks for itself.

Starship explosions are nothing new, and SpaceX will unquestionably work on another Starship prototype in the future. In the light of the company’s work with NASA on sending astronauts into space, however, Elon Musk has allegedly ordered the company to put Starship on the back burner as it focuses more of its resources on crewed missions. That said, it could be a while longer before more Starship prototypes surface.

Related: Learn why SpaceX is using heavy stainless-steel to build Starship

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 13, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Moon Had Magma Ocean for 200 Million Years
JUL 13, 2020
Earth's Moon Had Magma Ocean for 200 Million Years
The moon may have hosted an ocean of magma for 200 million years according to new findings- considerably longer than pre ...
SEP 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
An Unusual Black Hole Merges with Another
SEP 07, 2020
An Unusual Black Hole Merges with Another
A bulky black hole, which may have already been the product of a black hole merger, appears to have tangled with a more ...
SEP 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Discover Intergalactic Origins of Gold
SEP 18, 2020
Scientists Discover Intergalactic Origins of Gold
Back in 2017, scientists theorized that elements heavier than iron- such as gold- came to be following a collision betwe ...
OCT 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Observe a Supermassive Black Hole Surrounded by Galaxies
OCT 08, 2020
Astronomers Observe a Supermassive Black Hole Surrounded by Galaxies
The Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), an array of four individual telescopes in the ...
NOV 20, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Passing of a Neutrino Hunting Pioneer
NOV 20, 2020
The Passing of a Neutrino Hunting Pioneer
Masatoshi Koshiba, a revered Japanese physicist known for his groundbreaking work on cosmic neutrino detection, passed a ...
NOV 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
The Mystery of the Blue Ring Nebula is Solved
NOV 22, 2020
The Mystery of the Blue Ring Nebula is Solved
In 2004, the Blue Ring Nebula was first identified. It appeared as a faint gas blob with a star at its center and was un ...
Loading Comments...