Tecnología

SpaceX rocket engine explodes on test stand in McGregor

SpaceX rocket engine explodes on test stand in McGregor

A Falcon 9 rocket uses its nine Merlin engines to launch a satellite into space on July 5, 2017. The spacefaring giant has had a record run this year with as many as 16 successful missions, most ever done by the company in a year.

The management of the company SpaceX under Elon musk has initiated an investigation associated with the sudden explosion of a new engine, which occurred during the test trials. The Merlin engine would be used to power a future version of the multimillion-dollar SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

"All safety protocols were followed during the time of this incident", said a company spokesman, John Taylor.

The Washington Post reports the Merlin engine exploded during a "qualification test".

An explosion on Sunday (November 4) rocked SpaceX's rocket-development facility at McGregor, Texas. This will allow the company to continue "acceptance" testing for its Block 4 Merlin engines, the penultimate test before a rocket is assembled, shipped to the launch site, and the entire booster undergoes a static fire test on the launch pad.

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.

SpaceX further added it don't see any change in its current launch schedule as a result of this explosion.

SpaceX was testing an experimental new version of its Merlin rocket engine at the time of the blast, a company source who is familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

Yet that fix job will take only "two or three days", according to the source, and block-four testing will soon resume.

A source told Ars Technica the explosion occurred before the engine was sacked and happened when liquid oxygen (LOX) was added to the engine to check for leaks.

The Block 5 variant is expected to improve the Falcon 9's overall performance, in particular making it simpler and faster to re-use. Testing of this engine will be suspended until the company finds out what went wrong.

The 1st stage Merlin test stand at McGregor is composed of two test cells.

Musk has said he eventually hopes to phase out all of his company's rocket systems, including the upcoming Falcon Heavy rocket, by building a totally reusable "Big F--ing Rocket" system created to colonize Mars.