SpaceX Starship Blows Its Top During Test At Texas Launch Site

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A SpaceX Starship upper stage prototype that was built to function as a pathfinder for the California blew up its upper bulkhead during a pressurization test.

Written By Ruchit Rastogi | Mumbai | Updated On:
SpaceX

A SpaceX Starship upper stage prototype that was built to function as a pathfinder for the California based private American aerospace manufacturer blew up its top during a pressurisation test, at the manufacturer's Boca Chica, Texas, launch complex. The prototype which was undergoing a test minus its conical nose section was set up in an upright position as vapour from a damaged tank came out and on the sides of the vehicle.

According to reports, it was thought that the lower bulkhead had failed as well but there was no immediate confirmation. Founder of SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that the motive behind the test was to pressurize systems to the maximum level. He added that the failed test was not a setback for the company and added that the outcome was not completely unexpected.

SpaceX Starship

Musk had revealed the Starship prototype also called the Mark 1 during an event at the Boca Chica test facility on September 28 and added that the SpaceX will launch on a test flight within a few months. The founder added that the prototype will surely take off and fly to a total of 65,000 feet, about 20 kilometres and come back to earth in a span of one or two months.

However, in a statement, the Elon musk founded company stated that a decision was taken before the test on November 20 to use the Mark 1 prototype and instead they will work on a more complete version that will be designed to reach the orbit.

Read: SpaceX Launches 60 More Mini Satellites That Provide Internet Coverage

The SpaceX starship will serve the purpose of carrying passengers and circle the earth's orbit, the moon and a potential circuit around Mars. The spacecraft will be powered by six methane-burning Raptor engines and will need a huge booster codenamed Super Heavy to reach the orbit and complete its flight path. According to reports, the Super Heavy booster will be powered with a total of 37 methane-burning Raptor engines.

Read: Space: A Major Legal Void Says SpaceX Founder Elon Musk

Starship vehicle to replace Falcon 9

With a height of 400 feet, the Starship vehicle will be replacing Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy rockets along with the Crew Dragon spacecraft that is being manufactured by the company to carry astronauts to the International Space Station and back to earth. 

The aerospace manufacturer is building another spacecraft codenamed Mark 2 at a manufacturing base that is in close proximity to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida alongside a launch stand at the NASA spaceport. Also, a spacecraft codenamed Mark 3 will be at the Boca Chica test complex.

With the proposal of building the Mark 3 coming to light, Elon Musk stated that the Mark 3 will be a significant upgrade to the Mark1 spacecraft.

Read: NASA And SpaceX Collaborate To Launch Manned Mission To ISS Next Year

Read: NASA Boss To Tour SpaceX Facilities Amidst Recent Feud And Delays

(With inputs from agencies)

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