The American space Starship ship to fly to Mars on fire during the test

American entrepreneur Elon Musk, who founded a company Tesla and SpaceX, obsessed with his desire to move people to Mars. To send the original settlers of the Red Planet, he wants to use spacecraft Starship, which is currently under development and being tested. During a recent test of its Starhopper prototype I had to take off for a 20-meter height with the help of a brand new rocket engine Raptor, but at the very beginning of the test was engulfed in flames.

The American space Starship ship to fly to Mars on fire during the test

According to the company, the cause of the fire was ignited fuel used in a rocket engine. Unlike other engines as a fuel in it is not used kerosene, and methane. It is believed that it provides much greater safety and cost several times cheaper. Elon Musk, incidentally, has long sought to reduce the cost of space flight - he said that he was a force to launch the rocket in just 5-7 million dollars. For comparison, the cost of launching a rocket developed by Roskosmos "Irtysh" is estimated at $ 60 million.

Ignition prototype Starship

Despite the fact that the fire looks great, experts believe that it does not damage the structure of the test ship. For example, this is sure astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell of Harvard University. In any case, accurate information about the state of the device will be available from representatives of SpaceX - the company's employees have evaluated the damage caused by fire.

The American space Starship ship to fly to Mars on fire during the test

The only thing at the moment is clear - this is what a small flying ship at 20 meters high is transferred to another date. It is hoped that the second attempt will be successful, because after that the company intends to raise the ship to an altitude of 20 kilometers. If it goes on, and the preliminary version of the vehicle will prove their efficiency, the first flight of the full Starship will be accomplished as early as 2021.

This is interesting: Rocket engine SpaceX Raptor broke the record for Russian RD-180

It is expected that the spacecraft will accommodate up to 100 passengers. In addition to flights to the Moon and Mars, it will fast transport of people from one city to another. Testing of engines is especially important because in the final version of the ship will be installed as much as 6 pieces. At the moment, the ship seems small, but over time it will grow in size and will get a pointed nose fairing.

The consequences of a fire engine

A few hours after the fire revealed that the hull of the ship really caught fire, but the fire was quickly extinguished. Housing Starhopper prototype has not received serious injuries, but a second test will be no earlier than a week. This is evidenced by reports of local residents that the company has already opened the road around the test site.

The American space Starship ship to fly to Mars on fire during the test

Starhopper ship after fire

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