June 24, 2024

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Watch the SpaceX Raptor engine explode during testing

Watch the SpaceX Raptor engine explode during testing

An explosion occurred Thursday at a SpaceX test facility in McGregor, Texas, sending flames and a huge plume of smoke into the sky.

Reports from NASA Spaceflight, which runs a live feed of the site, suggested this happened during ground testing of a Raptor rocket engine of the type used by the company’s next-generation Starship rocket.

McGregor’s Birds of Prey testing stand experienced an anomaly a few moments ago. Fumes from the anomaly caused a secondary explosion in the test stand.

connection: https://t.co/Eh5oaicmrw pic.twitter.com/3K7tz8d6OF

— Chris Bergin – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) May 23, 2024

SpaceX has not provided any updates on the explosion, and with employees keeping a safe distance from the test site, it is unlikely that there will be any injuries, or worse, as a result of the explosion.

SpaceX is using its McGregor facility to test Merlin and Raptor engines ahead of flight, with the first engine going to be used in the company’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket.

Starship’s first stage, Super Heavy, flies using 33 Raptor engines that produce a whopping 17 million pounds of thrust at launch, making it the most powerful rocket ever built — by some steam.

The Starship spacecraft has already made three test flights, and SpaceX expects to send it on its fourth flight within weeks.

The Starship’s first two test flights, both of which lifted off from SpaceX’s Starbase launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, ended in explosions just minutes after launch, while the third flight, in March, lasted about 45 minutes and managed to accomplish many of the missions. Objectives.

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Once fully tested and certified, the spacecraft could be used to transport cargo and crews to the Moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program, which will also use the space agency’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for similar missions. The spacecraft could also transport the first humans to Mars, although there is still a lot of work to be done before such an ambitious mission can be undertaken.

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