SpaceX’s Starship Super-Rocket Destroyed During Pressure Test

A video released by Boca Chica showed the explosion that destroyed the rocket.
Loukia Papadopoulos

SpaceX's Starship SN1 prototype blew up on Friday night during a pressure test on its pad at the company’s South Texas facility. A video by Boca Chica showed the explosion.


Part of the process

However, before you get worried, it should be noted that these accidents are part of the process. Next Spaceflight's Michael Baylor tweeted: "Not much to worry about here. Text, fail, fix, test, fail, fix is SpaceX's game. They will learn from it and get it right. This was a very low stakes test, given that SN1 was only going to be used for a static fire anyways at the time of the test."

Inert liquid nitrogen

The test was being conducted with inert liquid nitrogen, and at about 10 P.M., CT the tank simply popped, causing the structure to explode. Current reports indicate that the tank may have suffered a structural failure during pressurization. 

However, this is not a severe loss as the prototype was specifically built for initial rounds of testing. Other future Starship prototypes will also be used for, and perhaps lost to, more ambitious tests that would work toward orbital flights.

We all know the saying: you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Well, it seems you can't conduct space exploration without breaking a few prototype super-rockets.

Still, it's never a good sight to see when something that requires so much effort gets destroyed. We wish SpaceX luck with its future tests and hope the damage will be left at a minimum!

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