A full-scale prototype of the U.S. ship Starship, which is being developed for interplanetary flights by SpaceX, exploded when its engine was tested at the Boca Chica test site in Texas, Spaceflight Now reported.
“The Starship prototype exploded in South Texas after a test run of its Raptor engine,” it said. The test was conducted on Friday night, Moscow time.
The explosion was reported to have occurred two minutes after the ship’s engine test. The victims of the test are not reported.
Starship is a promising manned spacecraft of a new generation, which is developed by SpaceX. It is much larger in mass and size than all existing SpaceX spaceship and is designed to launch more than 100 tons of cargo into orbit using a Super Heavy launch vehicle.
According to the founder of SpaceX Elon Musk, the purpose of this program is the launch of Starship with cargo on Mars in 2022, which should be followed by a manned flight in 2024.
This is already the fourth unsuccessful ground test of Starship in the last six months.