scorecardSpaceX rocket explosion left craters a foot deep, and incinerated 7 bobwhite quail eggs and a "collection of blue land crabs," report says
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SpaceX rocket explosion left craters a foot deep, and incinerated 7 bobwhite quail eggs and a "collection of blue land crabs," report says

Ryan Hogg   

SpaceX rocket explosion left craters a foot deep, and incinerated 7 bobwhite quail eggs and a "collection of blue land crabs," report says
LifeScience1 min read
  • The environmental damage caused by a SpaceX rocket explosion in April shocked officials.
  • Bloomberg reported that seven bobwhite quail eggs and a group of blue land crabs were incinerated.

A SpaceX mishap in April wreaked havoc on the local environment as it ignited a 3.5 acre fire that incinerated wildlife near its launchpad, a report said.

SpaceX's Starship rocket was grounded by the FAA after it exploded shortly after taking off on April 20.

The explosion was so powerful it kicked up sand and soil into the air that landed in a town five miles away and blew a crater in its launchpad that also sent chunks of concrete flying.

According to emails obtained by Bloomberg following a freedom of information request, there was also substantial damage to wildlife in the area.

Biologists working with the Fish and Wildlife Service were shocked by the extent of damage caused by the launch, which also ignited a 3.5 acre fire in a state park, the outlet reported.

That fire incinerated seven bobwhite quail eggs and a "collection of blue land crabs," while also leaving several craters a foot deep across tidal flats, per Bloomberg.

SpaceX has sought to mitigate the environmental impacts of its launches with new cooling systems around the launchpad. However, this has brought its own environmental issues.

The company last month used a "flame deflector" system that was meant to tackle the "immense heat and force" of a Starship launch, according to CEO Musk.

But according to a CNBC report, SpaceX failed to obtain the appropriate permits before launching the flame deflector.

Pollutants from the water used by the flame deflector had the potential to spill into the nearby Gulf of Mexico and affect its marine ecosystem.

The company risked fines from the Environmental Protection Agency if it did indeed fail to obtain the appropriate permits.

Wildlife officials also questioned why SpaceX did not use the same flame-suppression technology that's regarded as the best available, Bloomberg reported.

SpaceX did not respond to questions from the outlet, or immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.




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