At the end of the September, Elon Musk officially introduced the Starship Mk1 spacecraft, promising that it would make a suborbital flight in one to two months. SpaceX Starship MK1 reportedly exploded. Mk1 failed at the Boca Chica testing site in southern Texas.
On Wednesday afternoon, during a “pressure test” at the Boca Chica testing site in southern Texas, the ship partially collapsed.
The failure occurred during the first cryogenic loading test for Mk1 Starship, which involved filling the methane and oxygen tanks with a cryogenic liquid. More precisely, its upper part separated and made an uncontrolled flight, rising to a height of about 150 meters. At the same time, the skeleton of the “starship” was enveloped by spectacular clouds of evaporating coolant.
SpaceX has already circulated a comment saying that the goal of the test was to maximize the pressure in the systems, so the result was not completely unexpected. The good news is there was no one injured in the accident.
Elon Musk said that the Mk1 is used to search for production solutions, and the ship for flights has a “completely different” design. The company has already decided not to use Mk1 for flights, but immediately focus on the prototype Mk3, designed for orbital flight, as reported by NASASpaceflight.com.
In September, during the presentation, Elon Musk said that within a month, work on the next prototype, Mk3, is to begin, and its construction is expected to take about three months. At the same time, a separate team is constantly working on another prototype, Mk2, at SpaceX in Cocoa, Florida. This vehicle will probably be transported to the Space Center in the near future.
Just last week, SpaceX successfully completed Crew Dragon engine tests without an explosion, following a previous explosion.