Recently, SpaceX carried out its third standard fire test on its starship SN8 prototype. The test saw the fuel as the rocket was about to be launched, and then the engines fired for a few seconds, while the spacecraft was attached to the ground. Although the other two standard fire tests went as planned, there were problems this time.
The reports indicate As the engines are fired, material can be seen dripping from the bottom of the prototype, which is not normal for testing and indicates a problem. Fortunately for SpaceX, the spacecraft was not lost. CEO Elon Musk confirmed that there were issues with the test.
Through Twitter, Musk noted that the vehicle had lost pneumatics. At the time, he also confirmed that the team did not know why the problem occurred. Musk noted that the liquid oxygen header tank pressure is increasing, and there is a possibility of the spacecraft exploding. However, Musk believed that an explosion would reduce disk pressure.
Musk later tweeted that the explosive disk worked as intended, and the vehicle appeared to be malfunctioning. Then in a tweet, he mentioned that at least one of the SN8 prototypes needs to be replaced. Kasturi also addressed the sparks that some observers saw during the test.
He said sparks could be caused by the burner or fuel hot gas manifold in front of the molten engine. He suggested that whatever caused the pneumatics loss was caused by sparks. He noted that this issue needs to be addressed at the design level. Ultimately, the Starship will be the next generation rocket that will carry supplies and personnel to the Moon and Mars. The SN8 was the first prototype to include all three of the Raptor engines. All previous models had only a single engine.