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3 Apr, 2020 11:13

SpaceX’s Starship SN3 prototype rocket CRUMPLES like a tin can as it fails latest test (VIDEO)

SpaceX’s Starship SN3 prototype rocket CRUMPLES like a tin can as it fails latest test (VIDEO)

Billionaire Elon Musk’s latest SpaceX test has ended in disaster, with a rocket crumpling on the launch pad. The Starship SN3 prototype was undergoing cryogenic proof testing at the company’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

Musk’s team of rocket scientists had filled it with liquid nitrogen to check whether the spaceship would be able to handle the freezing temperatures and pressures of space. Footage posted to YouTube showed clouds of liquid nitrogen streaming out of the 30m x 9m silver cylinder before it crumpled like a tin can.

Earlier in the day it was reported that the SN3 had successfully completed a similar test conducted at ambient temperature before attempting this next stage.

Had the rocket passed the cryogenic test it would have then undergone a “static fire” test, in which its Raptor engines would have been fired at full thrust for a few seconds.

Elon Musk tweeted: “We will see what data review says in the morning, but this may have been a test configuration mistake.”

A previous test last November also ended badly, with the spaceship blowing its top at the same Texas test site.

The section of the ship being tested today was the “business end” of the rocket, designed to propel the upper part of the vehicle into orbit.

The craft consists of a spaceship, known as Starship, and a giant rocket called Super Heavy, both of which are intended to be completely reusable.

Musk’s dream is that the Super Heavy will launch Starship to Earth orbit, then come back down for a vertical landing. The upper Starship section, designed to carry up to 100 people, would then makes its way on to the Moon, Mars or some other space destination.

Also on rt.com Watch SpaceX Mars-colonizing Starship prototype POP & IMPLODE after failing to contain cryogenic nitrogen

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