SpaceX's Starship Serial Number 24 (SN24) ignited an intense grass fire after performing an eight-second static fire test

SpaceX’s Starship rocket ignites fire in protected habitat during static fire test

SpaceX’s Starship rocket ignites a fire in a protected habitat surrounding Starbase during a static firing test

  • SpaceX conducted a static fire test on its Starship Serial Number 24 (SN24)
  • The test, although considered a success, sparked a fire around the site
  • The powerful thrust is believed to have melted the concrete the rocket sits on
  • The molten concrete was then thrown onto the surrounding grounds

SpaceX’s Starship Serial Number 24 (SN24) ignited an intense grass fire after performing an eight-second static firing test that released over 1,000 tons of thrust and likely melted the concrete under the rocket, according to some.

The molten blob was then launched more than 300 feet from the rocket, falling into a dumpster and into the protected habitat that surrounds Starbase in Boca China, Texas.

Fire crews were called to the scene and battled the flames until the evening.

SpaceX received the green light in June from the Federal Aviation Administration to launch its Starship rocket after being grounded for nearly a year due to concerns about the impact of such tests on the environment.

One of the conditions of approval is that the company must implement forest fire prevention measures and also use water spray to suppress dust and air pollution – and the fire from Thursday suggests that SpaceX has yet to meet this requirement.

SpaceX’s Starship Serial Number 24 (SN24) ignited an intense grass fire after performing an eight-second static fire test

The static firing test began just after 5:30 p.m. ET, which is a crucial test to ensure the upper stage is ready for its first orbital launch – which CEO Elon Musk has yet to set a deadline for. date.

SN24 had another successful static fire test on August 9, but this event only saw two of the raptor engines ignite.

There were several tests throughout the month, but Teslarati reports that they were all deemed failures.

This forced SpaceX to replace three of the engines earlier this month and the effort paid off as the world saw a successful test – even though it caused a large grass fire.

Teslarati also estimates that the last static fire test produced 1,380 tons of thrust, which would be the most ever recorded for a test conducted at Starbase.

The outlet suggests that the powerful thrust may have melted the top layer of concrete on which the rocket sits.

The static fire test is crucial to ensure the upper stage is ready for orbital launch.  SpaceX has not yet given a date for the mission

The static fire test is crucial to ensure the upper stage is ready for orbital launch. SpaceX has not yet given a date for the mission

The static fire test began shortly after 5:30 p.m. ET, which saw all six engines burst into flames

The static fire test began shortly after 5:30 p.m. ET, which saw all six engines burst into flames

And those molten blobs are what sent Starship flying hundreds of yards and ignited the fire.

All areas surrounding the test site were on fire, even a SpaceX dumpster was on fire, which lasted for a few hours.

Musk’s spacecraft saw another fire last July – the rocket was engulfed in a massive fireball during a ground test on July 11.

Footage shows a powerful fireball engulfing the bottom of the rocket and sending shards flying, and dramatically shaking the camera’s view.

The last craft that flew was serial number 15 (SN 15) on May 5, 2021 and it landed nominal.

However, not all of the rockets returned to Earth in one piece.

The previous test flight, on March 31 last year, ended with SN11 in pieces on the launch pad.

SN10 was the first of four previous craft to survive landing, but the massive rocket exploded about 10 minutes later due to a methane leak.

Fire, smoke and debris erupted from the bottom and were seen for miles

Fire, smoke and debris erupted from the bottom and were seen for miles

Smoke from the test engulfed the rocket and test facility in Boca Chica, Texas

Smoke from the test engulfed the rocket and test facility in Boca Chica, Texas

The failure happened after SpaceX declared it a success, as SN10 flew and flipped – without crashing or burning like previous SN8 and SN9 prototypes. Musk praised the rocket in a tweet for “landing in one piece”.

And the SN8 and SN9 exploded in a ball of fire as they landed – and both sparked criticism from the FAA.

SpaceX plans to send humans to Mars using a two-stage spacecraft consisting of Starship (the passenger-carrying section) and Super Heavy rocket booster.

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