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In April, SpaceX made a "jump" test with Starhopper, a prototype of the future Starship rocket of the company, and then it worked. On Tuesday, the prototype passed another test, this time with its engine, but there was an explosion that "swallowed" the rocket for a few seconds, apparently by accident.
The fire was erased quickly, but it is possible that this incident delayed the first important flight of the vehicle. The spacecraft is a giant rocket that will be used to transport both heavy loads and people in the space, beginning with a moon trip planned for 2023, where a Japanese multimillionaire will travel with guests.
SpaceX has been developing trial versions of this rocket in Cap Canaveral, Florida, and Boca Chica, just to experience the vehicle in several stages before its final version. The test of the moment, where the fire occurred, was celebrated in Boca Chica, and would serve to show the skill of the new Raptor engine developed by the company Elon Musk especially for Starship.
The company planned to make this week a first test flight with the Starhopper engine and the Raptor engine, in which the rocket would rise to an altitude far above the Earth, remaining there for a while before Restart the engine and return to the ground. But the fire that happened yesterday, shortly after ignition, could delay this first flight if what we see in the images was even an accident – SpaceX did not confirm that the explosion was an unforeseen event, or if everything was inside the expected one. But, according to local residents, there is no road closure planning in the region for the next days, which indicates that the new flight test is no longer scheduled this week. It is concluded, then, that the fire was even accidental.
Source: Space.com, The Verge
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