Elon Musk's SpaceX Rocket Exploded during Test

SpaceX rocket engine explodes during test at Texas facility

SpaceX rocket engine explodes during test at Texas facility

Private spaceflight company SpaceX sustained an explosion at its test site in McGregor, Texas, over the weekend when a "Block 5" Merlin rocket engine failed.

SpaceX blew up an experimental engine during a test at its McGregor, Texas, development facility on Saturday.

Recently, the company SpaceX has received official approval to reuse the first stages of their Falcon 9 rockets, which should greatly reduce the cost of production and the organization of launches for various space missions.

In terms of Sunday's accident, SpaceX has encountered anomalies before.

The explosion, first reported by the Washington Post, happened during a "qualification test" of Merlin engine, which is supposed to be used in Falcon 9 rockets in late 2018.

A source told Ars Technica the explosion occurred before the engine was sacked and happened when liquid oxygen (LOX) was added to the engine to check for leaks.

Then, in September 2016, another Falcon 9 exploded, this time on the launch pad, as it was made before fire testing of the engine. SpaceX says that no one was injured during the event and that it shouldn't affect the company's launches moving forward.

Nobody was hurt in the event, but it did damage the facility. Both bays of the Merlin stand were damaged.

No one was hurt in the incident, SpaceX said. The testing for the current engines in operation will resume once the testing stand has been repaired.

SpaceX was testing an experimental new version of its Merlin rocket engine at the time of the blast, a company source who is familiar with the matter told Business Insider. Last year, one of their rockets exploded on the launchpad, destroying an expensive satellite and damaging the pad.

All Falcon 9 rockets launched today use a design called block-four - a kind of "model year" for the rocket system. That includes next Wednesday's planned launch of a secretive payload for Northrop Grumman from Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A. The company has not announced a target date for the maiden flight of the Block 5 rocket, but it is expected in 2018.

It's now unclear what caused the Sunday explosion but an investigation into the malfunction is underway, according to the Post. SpaceX anticipates that a full investigation into the incident will take several weeks, which may delay the debut.

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