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Technology New SpaceX Starship prototype pops its top during test... literally

00:55  21 november  2019
00:55  21 november  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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It looks as though a little re-assembly may be required on the biggest prototype yet of Elon Musk's Mars Starship.

a close up of smoke: Starship Mk1 experienced a bit of rapid disassembly. LabPadre/Screenshot by CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Starship Mk1 experienced a bit of rapid disassembly. LabPadre/Screenshot by CNET

The early version of the next generation SpaceX rocket appeared to fail during a pressurization test, sending billowing clouds of gas and its hood miles into the air at the company's Boca Chica, Texas test site on Wednesday.

a close up of smoke: Starship Mk1 experienced a bit of rapid disassembly.© Screenshot by CNET

Starship Mk1 experienced a bit of rapid disassembly.

A webcam streaming from nearby South Padre Island caught the "anomaly" that occurred at 3:27 p.m. Central Time.

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A more distant view catches the sizable hood falling back to the ground:

SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fortunately, SpaceX also has another prototype - "Mk2" - at its Florida facilities, so we may still see the next phase of Starship development soon.

On Twitter, Musk said SpaceX will take the opportunity to move on to its next iteration, "Mk3," which he says will have a more advanced flight design.

It's important to remember this in no way dooms Starship's development and it's not clear how much it may set the program back, if at all. The "Mk" series of prototypes are designed to be able to achieve orbital flight.

The previous single-engine prototype, dubbed "Starhopper," successfully performed a few very short hops, topping out at 150 meters (492 feet) earlier this year.

a close up of an object© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.
SpaceX aces Starhopper rocket test
(SpaceX)

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