Friday, May 22, 2020

"SpaceX Starship prototype in limbo after engine test lights rocket on fire"

Following on the update on one of Mr. Musk's ventures (btw: he is not associated with the monkey manipulations) we have word of another. From Teslarati:
The fate of SpaceX’s fourth full-scale Starship prototype appears to be in limbo after a third (seemingly successful) engine ignition test unintentionally caught the rocket on fire.

Now more than 12 hours after Starship SN4 fired up its new Raptor engine, the ~30m (~100 ft) tall, 9m (~30 ft) wide prototype is apparently trapped with one or both of its propellant tanks still partially filled with liquid (or gaseous) methane and/or oxygen. An initial road closure scheduled from noon to 6pm local quickly came and went and SpaceX and Cameron County Texas have since modified the paperwork, extending the closure a full 24 hours. In other words, SpaceX has reason to believe that Starship SN4 may continue to be unsafe (i.e. pressurized) as many as ~30 hours after it technically completed its third static fire test – extremely unusual, to say the least.

There’s only one obvious conclusion to draw. Whether it was something invisible to the public eye or damage related to the off-nominal fire that burned for some 15 minutes after Raptor shut down, SpaceX appears – to some extent – to have lost control of Starship SN4.....

Ummmm, Elon: