SpaceX Starship prototype explodes after rocket engine test.

  • The Starship SN4 prototype exploded shortly before 3 p.m. ET on Friday at SpaceX’s test facility near Boca Chica, Texas.
  • The explosion occurred about a minute after a short test of its Raptor rocket engine, but it was unclear what caused the explosion.
  • Starship SN4 (“Serial No. 4”) vehicle is the latest in a series of prototypes SpaceX has built to test technologies required for a truly massive space launch system: the 165-foot-tall (50 meters) Starship spacecraft and its Super Heavy megarocket. SpaceX wants Starship to carry up to 100 people at a time to space and, eventually, on to Mars.