SpaceX technician in coma after rocket test crash

(ORDO NEWS) — A SpaceX technician suffered a head injury ending in a two-month comma. The incident occurred while testing a rocket engine. This became known from the report of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

What happened anyway

A technician performed a pneumatic pressure test on a Raptor 2 engine Jan. 18 at the company’s Hawthorne, California plant. In the process, he was injured when the fuel controller cap came off.

The OSHA report noted that at the time of the accident, the procedure was carried out “using an automated program as opposed to the conventional manual method that had been used in previous operations.”

It is also said that the technician suffered a skull fracture and head trauma and was “hospitalized in a coma for two months.”

What is known about the victim

The technician turned out to be Francisco Cabada, a father of three from Los Angeles. The Kabada family’s GoFundMe page has already raised more than $50,000 to support his children while he recovers from his injury.

What is known so far is that Kabada is no longer in a coma, but is still unable to communicate and “cannot survive without medical attention, according to the family’s lawyer and his son-in-law.”

OSHA assigned the highest level of punishment to the incident. His investigation is still ongoing. So far, SpaceX has not issued a statement to either the public or its employees regarding the incident.

Briefly about the Raptor 2 engines and the Starship rocket

SpaceX’s Raptor 2 engine is the main engine for the new Starship rocket and the Super Heavy launch vehicle, a fully reusable launch vehicle that, when stacked together, form the world’s tallest rocket at 120 meters.

The Super Heavy launch vehicle will use 33 Raptor 2 engines at launch, while Starship will use six Raptor 2 engines to continue into orbit.

SpaceX plans to use Starship to land NASA astronauts on the moon for the agency’s Artemis 3 mission in 2025, as well as to fly space tourists on at least two separate flights around the moon.

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