Watch: Starship prototype explodes during testing

The pressure test didn’t go exactly as planned when the SpaceX ship ended with a cloud of smoke and the craft in pieces.
By | Published: March 2, 2020 | Last updated on May 18, 2023

The first Starship prototype, MK1, in Boca Chica, Texas.

A Starship prototype exploded during a pressure test carried out late Friday night at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facilities in Texas.

In the middle of the test, the body of the Starship prototype, dubbed SN1, shot up into the air, leaving a cloud of smoke below. Within seconds, the ship crumbled into pieces as it fell back to the ground. According to Geek Wire, initial reports show there might have been a structural failure, leading to the implosion during the test.

Elon Musk, SpaceX founder and CEO, tweeted the video out early Monday, making jokes about repairing the ship with Flex Tape, advertised to repair a number of household objects.

“It’s fine, we’ll just buff it out,” joked Musk in another tweet.

Starship is a vital part of the next generation of spacecraft coming from the private aerospace company. Currently, SpaceX has a bid in with NASA to use the Starship fleet for future lunar missions. But Musk has his dreams set on the Red Planet, and believes a Starship craft will land there in the near future.

You can follow mankind’s journey to the lunar surface in our free downloadable eBook: Project Apollo: Reaching for the Moon.

The Starship fleet is still in its early testing phases at Boca Chica and has only had a few versions of the ship actually see the testing grounds. The first Starship prototype, MK1, suffered a similar fate to SN1 when the rocket blew its top during another pressure test. And the prototype for MK1, Starhopper, made news when it burst into a blazing ball of fire during another test.

But, in the words of Musk himself: “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating.”