Science & Tech

Video Shows Workers Running for Cover as Experimental Rocket Ignites

“This video is a masterclass in how not to do rocket science.”


Launching rockets is something however simple, and it may be wildly harmful as nicely, particularly with lax security measures.

Take a scrappy new rocket launch startup referred to as Pythom — no, that’s not a typo — which lately tried to hop its inaugural rocket, referred to as Eiger. Judging by the footage of engineers working away from a harmful cloud of doubtless toxic smoke, their security protocols depart one thing to be desired.

Workers might be seen standing simply dozens of ft away from the igniting rocket stage. The video additionally reveals an worker standing beneath the towering rocket as it’s being hoisted upright by a pickup truck.

“Damn, Pythom Space has some work to do on their safety culture,” Ars Technica senior area reporter Eric Berger tweeted. “This video is a masterclass in how not to do rocket science.”

By no means Neglect

After Berger’s tweet began a prolonged dialogue on Twitter and was shared a few hundred occasions, Pythom seems to have edited out the components of the video displaying the staff working for their lives — however luckily, there are loads of copies of the unique nonetheless floating round.

In accordance with the corporate’s weblog put up in regards to the occasion, workers had no concept “what would happen. It was the first attempt.”

“Chances were nothing would happen at all; total silence,” the put up reads. “Or it would blow to pieces on the pad. Wait, what if it takes off?”

Tight Ship

The startup’s Eiger rocket is “powered by propellants that don’t require cryogenic storage facilities,” in response to the corporate’s official web site, and is designed to ultimately launch 330 kilos into low-Earth orbit.

The corporate additionally prides itself on working “small teams and tight facilities,” to maintain prices low, as “90 percent of rocket cost in the traditional space industry is related to personnel.”

We’re definitely rooting for them — however maybe hiring a security coordinator ought to’ve been the transfer right here.

“Eiger jumped around and was airborne maybe a foot or two,” the weblog reads, “couldn’t really tell for all the whirling dust.”

Extra on launching rockets: This Startup Is Catching a Rocket With a Flippin’ Helicopter!

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