SpaceX really didn't do its homework.
The launch left a massive crater in the company's launchpad, spitting up vast amounts of concrete and blanketing miles of South Texas' shoreline with particulate matter.
Now it turns out that the test launch even lit 3.5 acres, including land belonging to the neighboring Boca Chica State Park, on fire. That's according to the Texas division of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which told Bloomberg in a statement that first responders had eventually managed to extinguish the blaze.
While the agency didn't find any evidence of dead birds or wildlife, experts have already found that the noise and debris have rattled local bird feeding and nesting grounds.
"Although no debris was documented on refuge fee-owned lands, staff documented approximately 385 acres (156 hectares) of debris on SpaceX’s facility and at Boca Chica State Park," the agency told Bloomberg, pointing to a "plume cloud of pulverized concrete" that covered areas up to 6.5 miles northwest of the launch site.
There's growing evidence that SpaceX rushed to the test launch, skipping crucial steps in the process.
Experts have pointed out, for instance, that the Elon Musk-led company launched its rocket without a flame diverter or trench to redirect the rocket's exhaust.
Musk himself revealed that SpaceX started building a "massive water-cooled, steel plate to go under the launch mount," but that it "wasn't ready in time."
In other words, there's a decent chance at least some of the damage to the surrounding area could've been avoided had SpaceX done its homework.
The Federal Aviation Administration has since grounded Starship until it can confirm that "any system, process, or procedure related to the mishap does not affect public safety," according to a statement obtained by CNBC.
Whether the space company will have learned its lesson before it tries to get its Starship orbital again — or if regulators even let it try again — remains to be seen.
More on Starship: SpaceX Is in Big Trouble With the FAA After Starship Explosion
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