A blast Wednesday at the SpaceX rocket testing facility in McGregor was part of a test by accident investigators and caused no damage or injuries, according to a SpaceX spokesman. The noise emanating from the facility southwest of Waco had people posting inquiries on Facebook early in the day.
The city of McGregor confirmed the community’s volunteer fire department responded to the explosion but took no action at the site.
“The sound heard by residents was actually the result of a pressurization test at the McGregor Rocket R&D facility. These tests take place periodically at the site, and this particular test was part of the ongoing testing being conducted by our Accident Investigation Team,” SpaceX spokesman Phil Larson said in an email response to questions. “The volunteer fire department responded as a matter of procedure, but there was no damage to the site or injuries to any personnel.”
SpaceX reportedly is continuing to pursue the cause of the Falcon 9 explosion on Sept. 1 that destroyed an unmanned rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida before launch.
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, said at the time in a tweet that the explosion occurred “during propellant fill operation,” and “originated around upper stage oxygen tank,” the Wall Street Journal reported shortly after the incident. SpaceX reportedly has continued to look for the exact cause of the accident.
The Washington Post, in a story published in early October, said authorities were even speculating sabotage was involved.
The Wall Street Journal reported another unmanned Falcon 9 was destroyed in a launch failure in 2015 caused by a faulty strut.
SpaceX pays the city of McGregor $544,165 a year to lease land in its industrial park and reportedly will continue increasing the size of its workforce until it reaches nearly 600 staffers. It has a contract with NASA to haul supplies to the International Space Station through 2024, and Musk has said his long-term goal is manned trips to Mars.