COCOA, Fla. — A mishap during a rocket engine test is still being investigated.
- Mishap at Rocket Crafters' Cocoa facility investigated
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- No one was injured; debris punched holes in building
- RELATED: Rocket Crafters Experiences "Anomaly" During Engine Test
But the incident isn't stopping a small Cocoa-based company from pressing forward.
"Sometimes when you push the envelope, the envelope pushes back," said Rocket Crafters President Rob Fabian, who was candid when talking to Spectrum News about Thursday's "anomaly" at his Cocoa facility.
"That's why we test," he said. "That's why we have safety walls and procedures."
The over-pressurization mishap happened during an test of one of the company's rocket engines.
Debris went flying, punching a large hole in the facility's roof and two sides of the building.
No one was hurt.
"This was the third test that we've done with this motor," Fabian tells us. "Two were successful."
In fact, the most recent successful test with this engine happened Tuesday, two days before the mishap.
"(It) ran 17 seconds, ran up to 50% throttle, then 65% throttle, then shut it down," he says.
But Fabian, like any rocket engineer, hopes things go wrong during a test — that way, they go right when a real launch happens.
These engines are far simpler mechanically than larger-complex ones being used today. They’re also far cheaper to make.
The upstart, 20-employee Rocket Crafters said it's working to make simpler and cheaper rockets to drive down the cost to get to space. It's also growing.
"We are a source of opportunity for the extremely talented," Fabian says.
As he puts it, every test, good or bad, is an opportunity to learn. Rocket Crafters is set to launch a test flight later this year and a first flight of its Intrepid 1 rocket, both from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.