A fourth prototype of SpaceX’s next generation spacecraft rocket detonated on Friday after a test at the company’s development facility in Texas.
The company conducted a test on the rocket engine during a test on the ground known as static fire. A few minutes after the test, which initially seemed to be successful, the Starship prototype, identified as serial number 4, broke in a fiery explosion.
This prototype differs from the company’s Falcon 9 rocket and the company̵
The rocket is called Starship and is developed by the company with the aim of bringing people and cargo to the moon and Mars. The rocket is designed to be reusable so that SpaceX can launch and land it multiple times like a commercial plane. Starship’s shiny exterior is due to the type of stainless steel that SpaceX uses to build the rocket.
This latest Starship prototype is the fourth that SpaceX has built. While it was the most advanced in testing and passed several critical milestones, the company has yet to begin flight testing its latest design. An earlier iteration, known as Starhopper, completed a short takeoff and landing flight test in October.
The SN4 prototype had passed several key milestones during development, including a pressure test that had thwarted the previous version of the missile. So far, SpaceX has built and destroyed four Starship prototypes due to various errors during testing. SpaceX has aggressively developed Starship. Management has set itself the goal of reaching space later this year – and the moon by 2022.
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