SpaceX is in an ongoing process of testing its prototype Starship Mk1 vehicle, but it seems that they encounter more setbacks than anticipated. In the latest trial, a test version of the space company’s next-generation rocket cracked up at the top during a ground test in Boca Chica, Texas.
The rocket erupted massive clouds of gas and sent a couple of pieces of hardware and material into the sky, which then scattered around the testing site. Local space enthusiasts managed to capture the explosion in real-time, and most of them uploaded the videos online. Before the test occurred, they recorded live streams that showed the vehicle discharge gas regularly throughout the day, which indicated the test was ongoing.
“The purpose of today’s test was to pressurize systems to the max, so the outcome was not completely unexpected,” a spokesperson for SpaceX told The Verge. “There were no injuries, nor is this a serious setback.”
— Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) November 20, 2019
Some might believe the above video seems like a rather serious issue, SpaceX is guaranteeing that this is not an impede but the routine testing procedure.
This prototype was developed to test the design of the main vehicle, Starship, a massive spacecraft the space company is currently getting ready to transport astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and even the deep space, such as the Moon and Mars.
As a matter of fact, this is the same space shuttle that SpaceX CEO Elon Mush disclosed to a group of reporters in September. Then, he said the test vehicle could be used to fly at low altitudes in the following couple of months and that some variant of Starship could approach Earth’s orbit in no more than six months.
Now, due to the explosion, the schedule is most certainly set to change. After the incident, Musk noted on Twitter that SpaceX may not fly this specific prototype anymore, but will conduct flight tests with a newer and more advanced model that the company had on its shelf.