SpaceX Starship prototype explodes during testing in Texas

Nation/World

The SpaceX Starship Serial Number 4 prototype exploded on Friday shortly after an engine test in Texas.

The rocket exploded before 1:49 p.m. at SpaceX’s facility in Boca Chica.

No information was available on what caused the rocket to explode.

SpaceX’s Serial Number 3 prototype also met a violent end when it collapsed during a cryogenic pressure test in early April. That accident was blamed on human error during the test process, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter.

Meanwhile, SpaceX was preparing for it’s first crewed launch to to the International Space Station with its new Crew Dragon from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday.

The historic flight marks the first launch of American astronauts from American soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011. It was initially scheduled to lift off with two crew members atop a Falcon 9 rocket Wednesday but was postponed due to bad weather, according to SpaceX and NASA, who are partnering in the endeavor.

The Crew Dragon has already performed a successful unmanned test flight to the ISS in early-March of 2019.

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