SpaceX Rocket Engine Explodes in Testing →

Christian Davenport at The Washington Post:

SpaceX is investigating why one of its rocket engines exploded during a test earlier this week at the company’s facility in Texas, the company confirmed Wednesday.

The explosion involved the next generation of the company’s Merlin engine. The mishap occurred Sunday during what the company called a “qualification test.” No one was injured, but now the company founded by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk once again has to figure out what went wrong with its hardware.

This motor is a “Block 5” version of the company’s Merlin engine, used on the Falcon 9. The upgrade was due to fly next year, which may be in jeopardy now. The accident shouldn’t affect the company’s upcoming customer launches, however, and thankfully no one was hurt.