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Starship Sn4 Static Fire

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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The Washington SpaceX StarShip prototype was destroyed in an explosion on May 29 shortly after what initially appeared to be a successful Static - Fire test. The Starship SN4 vehicle had just completed Static - Fire test at SpaceXs test site at Boca Chica, Texas, when it was enveloped in a fireball that appeared to emanate from the base of the vehicle at 2: 49 PM Eastern. The vehicle was destroyed in the test, but there were no reports of injuries. Areas around the launch site are evacuated before such tests. The explosion took place about two minutes after the Static - Fire test of a single Raptor engine at the base of the vehicle. The engine Fire for several seconds and there were no immediate signs of problems after the engine shut down. In seconds just before the explosion, though, there was extensive venting at the base of the vehicle not seen in previous tests. Spacex appears to be moving toward the first free flight of StarShip prototype using this vehicle. The Company received launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation on May 28, same day the company carry another Static - Fire test without incident. Faa has also issued restrictions for airspace above the test site for June 1 and 2 consistent with the hop test. Sn4 is the fourth StarShip prototype that has been destroyed in testing in little more than six months. The Company's StarShip Mark 1 vehicle, unveiled at a media event in September 2019, was destroyed in November during cryogenic pressurization test. Second, SN1, was lost in a similar test on Feb. 28. The third prototype, SN3, crumpled in the April 3 test, apparently because of a misconfigured test setup. Companies appear to have more success with SN4, completing pressurization test on April 27, followed by several Static - Fire tests using a single Raptor engine. Those tests, and FAA license, suggest flight test, at least at very low altitude, was imminent. Spacex has already been working on additional StarShip prototypes, with observers at the Boca Chica test site seeing work on SN5 and SN6 vehicles as well as initial hardware for the SN7 vehicle.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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