SpaceX Rocket Engine Explodes During Testing At McGregor Texas Facility

The same incident was happened in 2015, in which SpaceX's uncrewed Falcon 9 exploded a few minutes after launch from Cape Canaveral but no one was injured or hurt. The engine being tested was one of SpaceX's Block 5 engines, the upcoming engine model to replace the current Block 4 design.

The engine anomaly should not impact the three official launches remaining on SpaceX's 2017 manifest.

The problem shouldn't delay any of SpaceX's launches; the company's near-term and early 2018 missions were all scheduled to use the Block 4 version of the Falcon 9 with its well-established Merlin 1D (improved) variant.

"All safety protocols were followed during the time of this incident", Ars Technica reports company spokesman, John Taylor, as saying.

"We are now conducting a thorough and fully transparent investigation of the root cause", SpaceX told News 6 partner Florida Today. In a statement provided to the Post, SpaceX representatives said they didn't expect the explosion to affect the company's launch schedule.

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At present, the secretive mission, dubbed "Zuma", is slated to launch on November 16, with a cargo resupply run to the International Space Station, CRS-13, now poised to fly from SLC-40 (returning launch operations to the launch site after more than a year) about three weeks later, on December 4.

The 1st stage Merlin test stand at McGregor is composed of two test cells. The Merlin test stand has two bays, and while one bay may require as much as four weeks to fix, the other bay should be ready for use within a couple of days.

The following year, another rocket exploded but this time it blew up on the launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center and left Launch Pad 40 severely damaged. According to the company, that number could reach as high as 19. Until recently all launches SpaceX successfully carried out.

And all but three of these missions also involved landings of the Falcon 9 first stage, for eventual refurbishment and reuse.

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

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