Watch a SpaceX Starship Test Tank Explode Spectacularly

byVictor Tangermann
9. 23. 20

"Test Tank SN7.1 has entered the gates of Valhalla!"


SpaceX just deliberately blew up its latest Starship test tank, during a pressure test late Tuesday night at the company’s test site in Boca Chica, Texas.

It was quite the explosion, leaving behind a gigantic plume of white fumes.

“WITNESS!” wrote NASASpaceFlight managing editor Chris Gebhardt in a tweet, referencing the 2015 film “Mad Max: Fury Road.” “Test Tank SN7.1 has entered the gates of Valhalla!”


Big Boom

The tank, dubbed SN7.1, is a more complex version of its predecessor, SN7, which was meant to test the steel alloy construction of the company’s Starship spacecraft’s cryogenic fuel tanks. SpaceX was testing a new steel alloy with SN7.1.

SN7 was also pushed to the brink and failed spectacularly as a result of a rupture from underneath the tank during a test on June 23.

Baby Steps

The space company’s prototype spacecraft SN6 “hopped” successfully to an altitude of 150 meters on September 3 — the second hop of its kind.

It’s yet another small, incremental step in SpaceX’s ambitious efforts toward building a rocket capable of ferrying up to 100 passengers, or 100 tons of cargo, to the Moon and even Mars.


Next up is SN8, a prototype spacecraft that’s rapidly approaching its maiden flight. SN8 will look  quite a bit more like the Starship renders we’ve seen for a number of years now. It will sport three — as opposed to just one — Raptor engines, a nosecone, and aero surfaces known as “wings.”

SN8 will attempt to fly to a height of 12 miles (20 kilometers) and will even attempt to perform a “belly-flop” maneuver as it begins to fall out of the sky to slow its descent.

READ MORE: SpaceX Starship test tank ready for a second shot at destruction [Teslarati]

More on Starship:Elon Musk: Next Starship Launch Will Fly 12 Miles High


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