ELON Musk’s SpaceX had sent an evacuation warning to residents in a Texas village ahead of a test of its Starship SN15 prototype rocket.
The Mars-bound spacecraft should be testing a high-altitude launch this week at the SpaceX Starbase complex in Boca Chica.
The Starship SN15 prototype also needs to complete a static fire test of its Raptor engines.
Residents of Boca Chica Village were sent an alert about “Space Flight Activities on April 21” and “a risk of malfunction”.
They were advised to temporarily vacate incase their windows are smashed.
The time of the tests was given as from 12pm to 8pm local time (6pm to 2am BST).
The Starship SN15 rocket prototype with be attempting a launchCredit: AP
The letter states: “There is a risk that a malfunction of the SpaceX vehicle during these activities will create an overpressure event that can break windows.
“Therefore, in order to protect Public Health and Safety, it is recommended that you consider temporarily vacating yourself, other occupants, and pets, from the area.
“At a minimum, you must exit your home or structure and be outside of any building on your property when you hear the police sirens, which will be activated at the time of the space flight activity, to avoid or minimise the risk of injury.”
Other similar prototypes have exploded in the past like the Starship SN11Credit: Twitter/@NASASpaceflight
A temporary closure of public roads around the SpaceX site is also happening around the test time.
The Starship SN15 could launch up to 10km high just like the four prototypes before it.
SpaceX has struggled with some exploding rocket prototypes in the past.
Starship SN15 was rolled out to the launch pad on April 8.
Stay tuned to the SpaceX twitter account for launch updates.
What is SpaceX?
Here’s what you need to know…
SpaceX was founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk who still has part ownership of the company with 54 per cent equity and 78 per cent voting control.
SpaceX is a private American aerospace manufacturer that is based in California.
It was founded in 2002 with the goal to build affordable rockets and enable the colonisation of Mars.
The manufacturer also aimed to reduce space transportation costs.
Since its creation, the firm has gained fame primarily as a pioneering rocket firm.
In 2008 it launched the first privately-funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit and later became the first private company to launch an object into orbit around the sun.
The company has grown dramatically over its lifespan, from 160 employees in November 2005 to around 7,000 as of November 2019.
As of March 2018, SpaceX had over 100 launches on its manifest representing about $12billion (£9.24billion) in contract revenue.
In other space news, a stunning image of our Milky Way galaxy shining brightly over a medieval castle has been snapped in Dorset.
Russia is planning a return to the Moon this year after not landing a spacecraft there for 45 years.
And, Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite broadband service could be fully up and running by the end of the year.
How many SpaceX launches have you watched? Let us know in the comments…
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