SpaceX suffers an apparent setback with Starship booster fire

SpaceX suffered an apparent setback with one of its Starship boosters Monday, with video captured by showing what appeared to be a fiery explosion beneath a Super Heavy booster.

“Yeah, actually not good. The team is assessing the damage,” said Elon Musk, chief executive of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., SpaceX’s formal name, in a tweet in response to the video.

He added that cryogenic fuel, a type of propellant that is kept at very cold temperatures, poses an additional challenge “because it vaporizes and creates a fuel-to-air explosion hazard” when oxygen is partially present in the atmosphere, as on the earth.

SpaceX has been working towards the spacecraft’s first orbital test launch, a massive two-stage rocket system that Musk said will reduce the cost of getting into orbit. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, meanwhile, has hired Starship to take future astronauts from lunar orbit to the lunar surface. SpaceX suffers an apparent setback with Starship booster fire

Brian Lowry

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