Yet another SpaceX experiment has gone "up in smoke".
Just a month after the company's SN1 Starship had an unplanned "incident" on the launch pad during testing, the company's SN3 Starship test vehicle was seen crumbling like a cardboard paper towel roll wrapped in aluminum foil on the launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas yesterday.
The Starship was planned to undergo a series of tests on the ground and in flight, but it failed its cryogenic proof testing. The test includes filling the vehicle with liquid nitrogen at cryogenic temperatures and and flight pressures. SN3 "failed" during the end of the test, NASA Space Flight reported, although to the untrained rocket scientist eye, it looks to us that it simply just crumbled to the ground.
Elon Musk said on Twitter: “We will see what data review says in the morning, but this may have been a test configuration mistake.”
Yeah, we would say so. You can watch HD video of the Starship's "structural failure" here:
Also recall, we pointed out at the beginning of March that SpaceX's first "Starship" SN1 also bit the dust during testing. We are starting to notice a pattern, as is the general public.
As one person on social media asked: "What's with the grain silos not holding pressure?"
Back in early March, another product of Elon Musk innovation wound up blowing up on the launch pad at the company's South Texas facility, also after being tested for pressure with inert liquid nitrogen. The photographs from the morning after show the extent of the damage on the rocket, which we're certain will not be reused.
Reports claimed that the tank suffered a structural failure during pressurization and information about injuries and the extent of the damage was not readily available from SpaceX at the time. The protoype ship was designed only for an "initial round of tests", according to Yahoo News, who said that future prototypes would be used for more ambitious tests.
To stupidity, and beyond!