SpaceX Starship explosion ignited 3.5-acre fire and sent debris thousands of feet, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says

SpaceX’s Starship rocket explodes 4 minutes into successful first test flight

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released new details about the aftermath of SpaceX Starship Super Heavy launch and mid-air explosion, including that a “3.5-acre fire started south of the pad site on Boca Chica State Park land,” following the test flight.

The FWS had found no dead birds or other wildlife had been found on National Wildlife Refuge lands, which are very near the launch pad and are designated critical habitat for an endangered species of bird, the piping plover.

SEE VIDEO: SpaceX’s Starship rocket explodes 4 minutes into successful first test flight

“Impacts from the launch include numerous large concrete chunks, stainless steel sheets, metal and other objects hurled thousands of feet away along with a plume cloud of pulverized concrete that deposited material up to 6.5 miles northwest of the pad site,” The FWS said.

The FWS had documented no debris on refuge-owned lands as of Wednesday, but staff “documented approximately 385 acres of debris on SpaceX’s facility and at Boca Chica State Park, which is leased by the Service and managed as a component of the Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge.”

What to know about 1st test flight of SpaceX’s big Starship

In the agency’s e-mailed statement, a spokesperson for the Fish and Wildlife Service said that following the launch and mid-air explosion, “Cameron County closed Boca Chica Beach and State Highway 4 for 48 hours due to launch pad safety concerns.”

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