September 26, 2022

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SpaceX spacecraft prototype releases super-debris, causing fires

SpaceX spacecraft prototype releases super-debris, causing fires

The brush fires appeared shortly after the Starship static fire test on Thursday, September 8, 2022.

a brush firThe es appeared shortly after the Starship test-fired fixed-point on Thursday, September 8, 2022.
screenshot: NASAS space flight

SpaceX conducted a stable test launch of a Starship rocket on Thursday, where all six raptors engines were turned on. the eight seconds Testing seemed to be going well, except for the problematic brush fire that followed.

The Starship 24 prototype is currently undergoing testing at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas. SpaceX is preparing for the upper stage of an upcoming orbital test of the fully integrated Starship system. During yesterday’s hard fire test A little after 5:30 p.m.TThe Create six Raptor engines A monstrous roar released an enormous amount of smoke and dust. after article The Starship launch pad has stabilized and appearedIt turned out that several patches of grass in the area were burning.

SpaceX Static Fires Starship 24 and Grass Fire Ensues Plus Booster 7 Spin Prime

video From the scene, like capturing By NASASpaceflight (The static fire test begins at 5:35:00 in the video above), showing an unusually high fire near the missile, and Wider angles revealed brush fires several hundred feet from the stand. The superheated debris from the test even reached a SpaceX waste container, setting its contents on fire. according to to Teslarati. The fires, which affected protected habitats, required fire crews to come and battle the flames.

Magnified view of the fires near the test stand.

Magnified view of the fires near the test stand.
screenshot: NASAS space flight

Saw a previous test on August 9 Only two of the typical Raptor 24 . engines It went into effect, in what was a subdued version of Thursday’s mass test. during the previous day, On August 8 SpaceX conducted a limited static fire test of a prototype booster spacecraft, bringing the company closer to an actual orbital launch. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk envisions a two-stage Starship rocket as a platform for delivering people and goods to the Orbit, Moon and Mars.

Teslarati estimates that Thursday’s test of six engines produced 1,380 tons of thrust, More than ever before for a test conducted at Starbase. And at eight secondsIt was also one of the longest running static fire tests performed on the Starship test bench.

With great power comes great responsibility, however, and SpaceX does not rise to the challenge; The company, as Teslarati points out, is clearly not taking precautions to prevent this from happening Fires near the launch pad Instead it relies on an unsuitable spray nozzle and high temperature concrete:

Most likely, the eight long seconds of blast furnace conditions melted the upper layer of surrounding concrete and unleashed a hailstorm of tiny, extremely hot pellets in almost every direction. Indeed, in almost every direction there was something that could easily burn, a fire started. In several locations in the south and west, fires caught fire and began to burn unusually, quickly multiplying into the walls of flames that shot across the terrain. To the east, the debris turned into a SpaceX waste container, which easily caught fire and burned for hours.

In the end, about [10:00 p.m. EDT], the firefighters were able to get close to the safe launch pad and missile, but the main fire had already spread south, out of reach. Instead, they began controlled burns near a SpaceX roadblock, hoping to clear the brush and prevent the (albeit unlikely) fire from proceeding toward SpaceX’s Starbase plant, Boca Chica Village homes, and residents.

More serious precautions, like a water deluge system, would probably prevent this kind of thing from happening. Instead, the massive force, heat, and length of the burn annihilate the concrete beneath the rocket, spreading the superheated debris.

The fire brigade had no problem putting out the flames, but the fires have already affected an environmentally sensitive area house to threaten him wild animals. In June, the Federal Aviation Administration Completed its environmental assessment of proposed SpaceX site expansion In Boca Chica, saying that the company can go ahead with its plans, but must complete them 75 Environmental Mitigation Measures.

Among these measures, SpaceX must implement forest fire prevention measures As well as using water spray to suppress Dust and air pollution. Given what happened yesterday, it’s clear that these items are still unchecked on SpaceX’s to-do list. Not cool, Elon. Not cool.

more: SpaceX signs a deal with NASA to provide 5 more crewed flights to the International Space Station.

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