SpaceX’s test vehicle, which is a small-scale model craft for some of the Starship components, caught on fire after a fuel leak. There is also the possibility of the dump following a successful static fire test from last night. We are not sure why the craft caught on fire so suddenly, or if it was severe in terms of the damage.
SpaceX has been calling it “Starhopper,” and it is a smaller-scale version of the Starship craft that the company is currently developing. This model is meant to perform short flights, which are called hops. They are also expected to test in an environment without fire. The craft is being built and operated from SpaceX’s facilities in Boca Chica, in Texas.
This craft looks like an actual, gigantic toy, but it is a rocket, and it was supposed to hover at 20 meters – this was supposed to be one step above the short tethered flights that it has already accomplished. However, last night, the test firing of the engines were not regular.
How did it happen?
As seen by many from the SpaceX community, the static fire just started and then just stopped, but the flames continued to burn around the base. Water was directed towards it, and that is when the rocket appeared to ignite in a fireball. Then, a few seconds later, it did it again. There are videos on the internet. You can clearly see it.
It is quite unclear what was the reason behind the fireball, or even if it was intentional. But we are sure of one thing: this is now how the last test-fires have gone, and, to be fair, no one wants their rocket to be on fire, even if it was built do be heat-resistant.