SpaceX Starship prototype fails pressurization test


SpaceX’s Mk1 prototype for its Starship has been caught experiencing a major failure during pressurization tests at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas this week.

The video above shows the top of the prototype blowing off and cryogenic propellants dispersing from its top in huge clouds.

After the incident, SpaceX said in a statement: “The purpose of today’s test was to pressurise systems to the max, so the outcome was not completely unexpected. There were no injuries, nor is this a serious setback,”

“As Elon tweeted, Mk1 served as a valuable manufacturing pathfinder but flight design is quite different. The decision had already been made to not fly this test article and the team is focused on the Mk3 builds, which are designed for orbit.”

A Mk2 prototype of the Starship already exists and is almost complete at the company’s facilities in Cocoa, Florida.

SpaceX has said it plans to have the Starship operating commercially and transporting cargo  during 2021 . Starship is both the second stage of a reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft. It will combine with the Super Heavy booster rocket for use in long duration cargo and passenger missions. Integrated systems testing of Starship began in March 2019;


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About Author


Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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