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Elon Musk’s SpaceX suffered a setback this week when the firms “Starhopper” small-scale spacecraft exploded into flames during a static fire test.
TechCrunch reports that Tesla’s Starhopper small-scale test spacecraft exploded into flames after what appeared to be a fuel leak or fuel dump during a static fire test at SpaceX’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas. It is not yet fully clear why the starcraft burst into flames or how badly damaged it was as a result of the malfunction.
Starhopper - Version - Spacecraft - Firm - Ideas
The Starhopper is a smaller-scale version of a larger spacecraft the firm is currently developing and is designed to test ideas for the larger version. It is expected that the Starhopper will be capable of performing short space flights called “hops.” The craft was planned to do an untethered test flight this week, hovering at around 20 meters, an improvement on the short tethered flights it has already completed.
Video footage of the event shows that the static fire started and stopped but flames from the rocket’s thrusters continued to burn. A stream of what appears to be water is fired at the craft before the entire rocket bursts into flames, which was captured in...
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