The B7 rocket is a prototype of Super Heavy, which is being developed for the first orbital test flight of the Starship deep-space transportation system, which SpaceX intends to launch in the coming months.
It’s made up of two parts: the Super Heavy is the first-stage booster and the Starship is the upper-stage spacecraft. They will be powered by the new Raptor engine–Super Heavy will have 33 and Starship will have six.
Super Heavy booster exploded in a test on Monday when an “engine spin start test” did not go to plan.
Musk explained the explosion: “Cryogenic fuel is an added challenge, as it evaporates to create fuel-air explosion risk in a partially oxygen atmosphere like Earth. That said, we have a lot of sensors to detect this. More later.”
On how much damage was done to the engines, Musk said: “Base of the vehicle seems ok by flashlight. I was just out there about an hour ago. We shut down the pad for the night for safety. Will know more in the morning.”
He later added: “Was just up in the booster propulsion section. Damage appears to be minor, but we need to inspect all the engines. Best to do this in the high bay.”