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SpaceX's "Starhopper" explodes in flames during a static fire test – TechCrunch

The test vehicle of SpaceX a small demonstration ship for some of the starship components then ignited, which looks like a leak or fuel ejection after another successful static fire test last night. It is unclear why the ship suddenly burst into flames or was seriously or even superficially damaged.

Starcomputer, as SpaceX called it, is a much smaller version of the ship that the company owns in development designed to test them in a live fire environment and even perform short flights called hops – hence the name. It is assembled and operated at SpaceX's facilities in Boca Chica, Texas.

The big glossy ship looks a bit like a toy, but it's a functioning rocket and was scheduled this week to take a flight of about 20 meters, a step above the short-knit flights she's already done. Last night's research on the engines seemed to have led to an anomaly. around the base of the engines. A stream of liquid (very likely water) is directed at it, at which point the entire rocket appears to ignite under an impressive fireball ̵

1; then it does it again a few seconds later. You can see the whole process (in 4K no less) in Everyday Astronaut's video:

At this stage it is unclear what the cause of the fireball and whether it was in any way deliberate. What is certain is that this is not the way previous test attempts have gone, and you generally do not want your rocket to be on fire, even if it is highly heat resistant.

Some have assumed that there is no fuel. after the tests that produced vapors lighter than the air that rose and surrounded the rocket. The water jet may have caused the small fire to ignite the steam, producing the fiery ball. I asked SpaceX for any information I can share.

The photos taken the next day do not show a melted pile of slag, and in fact the vehicle does not look worse for wear outside. But while this is proof of the durability of the test vehicle and the stainless steel skin, it does not mean that there is nothing wrong with it.

Everything unexpected, going on during a test, is a reason to end and re-evaluate, so it will not be a surprise. if we hear that Starcraft's tests are delayed indefinitely. LabPadre, who took another video of the event, remarked in Twitter that local authorities had told him that SpaceX had withdrawn all road and beach closures, so testing is obviously off for the time being. event information.

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