SpaceX booster rocket bursts into flames during test

Super Heavy Booster 7 prototype test-fired at SpaceX's facility in Boca Chica, Texas

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A SpaceX booster rocket burst into flames during a ground test-firing on Monday in Texas as the company’s CEO Elon Musk looks to launch its next-generation Starship spacecraft into orbit this year.

The test of the Super Heavy Booster 7 prototype was being live-streamed by the NASA Spaceflight website when an explosion shook the camera and a ball of fire engulfed the base of the booster.

"Yeah, actually not good. Team is assessing damage," Musk said on Twitter.

Musk later tweeted that it appeared to be related to the engine spin start test.

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"This particular issue, however, was specific to the engine spin start test (Raptor has a complex start sequence)," Musk wrote. "Going forward, we won’t do a spin start test with all 33 engines at once."

The booster remained upright at SpaceX’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas, and no injuries were reported.

SpaceX has previously said it would use the nearly 400-foot-tall Starship spacecraft for its most ambitious missions, including a potential trip to Mars. 

In this image from video made available by SpaceX, a Starship test vehicle sits on the ground after returning from a flight test in Boca Chica, Texas on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.

In this image from video made available by SpaceX, a Starship test vehicle sits on the ground after returning from a flight test in Boca Chica, Texas on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (SpaceX via AP, File)

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SpaceX achieved its first successful touchdown of the prototype Starship rocket in May 2021 after four previous landing attempts ended in explosions.

Last month, Musk said Starship would be ready to fly in July, with a second stack ready in August.