SpaceX's first Starship pops its top during a 'pressure test' in Texas

View from Lab Padre live stream at https

The fact the cylinder of the booster itself remained intact indicates to our untrained eye that the failure likely sent the top of the bulkhead skywards and it is hard to see how the incident won't set the company's ambitions back a little.

SpaceX has already moved on to manufacturing its next generation of "Mk3" Starship frames, but the original model Elon Musk stood in front of two months ago popped open during an apparent "pressure test" at the company's Boca Chica, TX site.

Fortunately, SpaceX also has another prototype - "Mk2" - at its Florida facilities, so we may still see the next phase of Starship development soon. Just last week, SpaceX announced Crew Dragon static fire tests had been performed successfully following a previous explosion, but now the streak is broken.

SpaceX said the failure wasn't "completely unexpected", because the goal of Wednesday's test was to "pressurise systems to the max".

In what the company claims is "not a serious setback", the Mark I prototype of SpaceX's Starship launch vehicle exploded during a test on Wednesday.

SpaceX does not consider Wednesday's events to be a "serious setback".

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.

As Elon tweeted, Mk1 served as a valuable manufacturing pathfinder but flight design is quite different.

SpaceX is already in the process of building the Starship Mk2, for which suborbital testing could begin by the end of the year, and is about to start the manufacturing process for Mk3, which is created to fly to Earth's orbit.



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