SpaceX’s Starship SN1 Explodes Under Cryogenic Testing

A prototype of SpaceX’s Starship SN1 spacecraft exploded during a pressure test in Boca Chica TX Saturday, February 29th.

The SN1 was undergoing liquid nitrogen (LN) testing when clouds of vapor appeared underneath. A split-second later, the system exploded, lifting the whole craft a few meters into the air. The stainless steel LN tank rapidly imploded and released more vapor from the top of the craft. No fire was reported. The test comes after a similar structural failure during the testing of the Starship MK1 in November of 2019.

The Starship craft is scheduled to become SpaceX’s first manned launch vehicle, eventually taking humans to Mars for colonization. The loss of the prototype means the company will have to redevelop their launch system before performing the planned 20-kilometer ascent test.

See the test failure video, taken by user @BocaChicaGal, here: