(ORDO NEWS) — Trials of SpaceX’s third Starship SN4 prototype at the Boca Chica test site in south Texas failed. The explosion occurred while testing the Raptor methane engine. The broadcast was conducted on the Lab Padre YouTube channel.
SpaceX conducted fire tests during which a fuel leak occurred. As a result, the prototype exploded and fell.
At the end of February, the Starship SN1 prototype burst at a Boca Chica test site in Texas during a boost of liquid nitrogen. In November 2019, tests of the prototype Starship Mk1 also ended in failure. An emergency occurred when filling the tanks for methane and oxygen with cryogenic liquid.
Starship is the second stage of SpaceX’s reusable BFR space transport system. Six Raptor engines will receive the second stage, the first – 31. Methane and oxygen-powered Raptor distinguishes the greatest thrust-to-weight ratio (the ratio of the thrust developed by the power unit to its weight) among all rocket engines ever created.
In the reusable version, the BFR system is designed to bring up to 150 tons of payload into low Earth orbit and return to Earth up to 50 tons, as well as comfortable transportation of up to 100 people (2-3 in a cabin) to the Moon and Mars. The system should fly in 2022.
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