The reveal of NASA’s James Webb photos has largely outshone SpaceX’s Starship prototype, which experienced an explosive setback earlier this week while testing on the launchpad.
After an unexpected explosion on July 11 at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas, the company has placed its engine tests on hold. The issue may cause a delay in SpaceX’s orbital launch of Starship, which CEO Elon Musk previously projected would happen this month.
Howver, Musk has just offered an update, and it appears to be promising – although much more time is needed to examine the extent of the damage.
“Damage appears to be minor, but we need to inspect all the engines,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “Best to do this in the high bay,” he added.
Although the damage is being assessed, Musk is optimistic that Starship’s first orbital trip will take place within the next few weeks.
“If testing goes well, as soon as next month,” Musk said.
Don’t get too excited, though, as Musk also stated the same thing last year in October. However, this time, SpaceX has the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulatory clearance and 75 environmental regulations to comply with before the launch.
This week has been historically significant for the space industry thanks to the release of the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope. So we’re in for another historic few weeks now that we know the damage to Starship isn’t too severe.
This could be one of the most eventful summers in the history of the space industry with the launch of James Webb, Starship, and possibly NASA’s Space Launch System in the upcoming months.