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Elon Musk’s rocket explosion

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The seventh prototype of SpaceX’s Super Heavy booster had an incident during a test ignition, causing a large explosion.

What a scare they got in the workshops of SpaceX. Elon Musk’s space company suffered yesterday the latest of the setbacks in the development of the spacecraft that promises to take mankind to Mars resulting in a large explosion in the lower part of the booster.

The protagonist was the Super Heavy Booster 7, the seventh prototype of the company’s most powerful booster, which faced an ignition test. This particular unit has managed to position itself as the best candidate for docking with a Starship to begin the spacecraft’s orbital maneuvers.

Super Heavy Booster 7 corresponds to the first stage of the entire propulsion system of the Starship spacecraft with 33 Raptor engines located at the bottom and which will be responsible for propelling it in the first few minutes.

After the spectacular explosion captured on video, SpaceX engineers began to study the possible reasons, which, for the moment, are officially unknown. Although Musk himself noted on Twitter that “cryogenic fuel is an additional challenge as it evaporates and creates a risk of fuel and air explosion in a partially [composed] of oxygen atmosphere such as Earth is,” perhaps pointing to a possible cause.

“That said, we have plenty of sensors to detect that,” the tweet concludes. It also points to a change in future testing by applying a technology that was present on the space shuttle. Specifically, burning leaking cryogenic fuel (hydrogen) with small sparks on the underside of the engines. And thus prevent it from building up and leading to an explosion.

The test was being conducted at the company’s Boca Chica (Texas) facility and, at this time, it is not known what SpaceX was actually testing. What is known is that this first stage of the Starship has become a headache for the company, which has already been able to test the performance of the higher stages by launching prototypes to high altitude but is still stuck with the first stage, which requires enormous power to lift the entire spacecraft during the first moments of space travel.

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