By B.N. Frank
Dangerously high amounts of space junk is one of many reasons that experts continue to warn about and oppose satellites and similar vehicles being launched (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13). An 18-ton Chinese rocket recently fell out of the sky, and yesterday the SpaceX’s Starship prototype exploded.
From Popular Mechanics:
- SpaceX’s Starship prototype, SN4, erupted in a ball of flames at the company’s testing facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
- The test vehicle had just completed its fifth static fire test.
- On Thursday, SpaceX received FAA clearance to conduct a 150 m hop with the vehicle. Those plans are, obviously, now up in the air.
At 1:49 p.m. EDT, SpaceX’s Starship prototype vehicle, SN4, exploded in a ball of flames on the company’s testing facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The test vehicle, a prototype for Elon Musk‘s moon- and Mars-bound spacecraft, had just conducted its fifth static fire test two minutes earlier.
NASASpaceFlight.com correspondent @BocaChicaGal caught the static fire and subsequent explosion on film. You can watch the entire live stream of the test below. (To see the static fire, skip to 1:22:30.)
This video from NASASpaceFlight.com skips right to the explosion and includes the sounds generated by the blast. (It’s quite a boom!)
SN4 is a prototype for the company’s Starship rocket, which SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk hopes will ferry astronauts to the moon and Mars in the near future.
Regardless, the show must go on so the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched today. So far only pollution.
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