Boca Chica, May 30: A major explosion occurred when Elon Musk's company SpaceX conducted a static fire test of the Raptor engine in its Starship SN4 prototype launch vehicle on Friday. This was the fourth static fire test of the Raptor engine on Starship SN4 prototype launch vehicle. The video of the incident showed a huge explosion, triggering a massive fire, at Boca Chica site. The explosion occurred around 1:49 PM local time in Texas, roughly two minutes after it had completed its engine test fire. Discovery Channel to Document SpaceX’s Historic Astronaut Launch.
The fire test was conducted days after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowed SpaceX to fly suborbital missions with its Starship prototype spacecraft. The goal was to fly this SN4 prototype for short distances following static fire testing. However, it appears that the blast has completely destroyed the rocket. A portal - NASASpaceflight.com - has captured events unfolding during the fire test.
SpaceX Starship SN4 Prototype Explosion:
As seen in the video, the Raptor engine blazed for a few seconds while the SN4 remained tethered to the ground at the SpaceX's facilities. There’s no word from SpaceX on what may have caused the failure. Starship is a new spacecraft that SpaceX has been developing to replace its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rocket. SpaceX is also working on additional prototypes, including assembling SN5 nearby in Boca Chica.