Pythom has recently launched its inaugural rocket, called Eiger. Judging by the footage of engineers running away from a dangerous cloud of potentially poisonous smoke, their safety protocols leave something to be desired.
Employees can be seen standing just a few feet away from the igniting rocket stage.
“Damn, Pythom Space has some work to do on their safety culture,” Ars Technica senior space reporter Eric Berger tweeted. “This video is a masterclass in how not to do rocket science.”
Pythom appears to have edited out the parts of the video showing the workers running for their lives but fortunately, there are plenty of copies of the original still on the internet.
The blog post said that the employees had no idea “what would happen. It was the first attempt.” “Chances were nothing would happen at all; total silence,” the post reads. “Or it would blow to pieces on the pad. Wait, what if it takes off?”
The startup’s Eiger rocket is “powered by propellants that don’t require cryogenic storage facilities,” according to the company’s website.
The company also prides itself on running “small teams and tight facilities,” to keep costs low, as “90 percent of rocket cost in the traditional space industry is related to personnel.”
“Eiger jumped around and was airborne maybe a foot or two,” the blog reads, “couldn’t really tell for all the whirling dust.”