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SpaceX Engine Test Stand Collapses Following Probable Starship Raptor Engine Test

SpaceX’s rocket engine test pad in McGregor, Texas has caught fire as it gets ready for the Starship IFT-4 at its Boca Chica, Texas, facilities. Local television footage reveals that the tower was completely destroyed by fire when the company was testing a rocket engine at the location. The incident, which comes after a lesser anomaly that happened on a Starship second stage spaceship earlier this month during testing on a different pad, has not yet received any updates from SpaceX.

A Large Fireball At The Test Stand Is Caused By SpaceX’s Rocket Engine Test
SpaceX is a hardware-rich corporation in contrast to most rocket companies, which manufacture a set quantity of engines meant for particular future rockets. The company has increased production of steel sheets, metal tanks, and rocket engines as a result of its Starship rocket research in Texas.

Rocket engines are qualified at SpaceX’s McGregor, Texas, facilities before being mounted on the Falcon 9, Starship Super Heavy, or Starship second stage. The exhaust plumes of the two rocket engines are distinguishable. The Raptor’s exhaust is cleaner and gives off a bluish tint, whereas the Merlin’s exhaust glows orange due to kerosene. Since the Raptor engines can run on methane, they are a whole unique design that was designed just for Starship.

But as soon as the clouds of smoke cleared, flames began to shoot out of the bottom of the pad, where the rocket engine’s nozzle is located. This area had observed flames during the test that resembled those of a Raptor with the traditional Mach diamonds. These new flames, though, were orange, and they seemed to rise before the entire building was destroyed by another explosion.

Fortunately for SpaceX, following the explosion, the pad stood. Nevertheless, white clouds were spewing from the top of the stand for over a minute following the accident before the surrounding area cleared.

While its Raptor engines wait to be installed on a Starship launcher, SpaceX frequently updates them along the route. The Raptor 2 engines are the ones in use right now. These have a less complicated design and more thrust. The Raptor is built to use liquid methane resources found on Mars as fuel. Moreover, it has a notably higher power than the Merlin engines seen in the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, as SpaceX’s Starship rocket booster has 33 engines in total.

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