SpaceX said Wednesday that one of its rocket engines exploded on Nov. 4 during a test at its Texas facility. But the failure would not delay any upcoming launches.
The incident happened during a “qualification test” of company’s next generation Merlin engine. Thankfully, no one was injured, but the company has suspended engine testing pending a further investigation. A SpaceX spokesman said that the exploded engine was a new engine that hasn’t yet piloted.
The same incident was happened in 2015, in which SpaceX’s uncrewed Falcon 9 exploded a few minutes after launch from Cape Canaveral but no one was injured or hurt.
Then, in September 2016, another Falcon 9 experienced a rapid unscheduled break down; again, no one was killed or hurt.
The company has already flown 16 times successfully this year, tying the most number of its launches by its major competitor, the United Launch Alliance.
Muck also said that the company is preparing to launch its Falcon Heavy rocket this year. He said that the Heavy is a complex rocket which has 27 first-stage engines and it too could explode.
Musk said earlier this year, “I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage. I would consider even that a win, to be honest,” “Major pucker factor, really.”
The company’s next launch which is a national a national security mission is organized for next week from the Kennedy Space Center.