COCOA, Fla. – A fire at the Cocoa industrial facility Monday where SpaceX is constructing a prototype of its interplanetary rocket ship Starship was quickly put out, according to a SpaceX spokesperson and Cocoa city officials.
The Starship mockup will be used to fire the rocket engines on brief "hops" to test out systems and hardware. A second prototype of the SpaceX interplanetary spaceship is also being assembled and tested in Boca Chica, Texas, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Cocoa Fire Department firefighters responded to the property on Cidco Road just after noon Monday for reports of smoke coming from a storage container.
Firefighters, with two engines, a tower truck, the district and the chief, all responded and had the fire extinguished within 10 minutes, Cocoa police public information officer Yvonne Martinez said.
No one was injured, Martinez said.
The structure damaged by the fire, which mostly contained welding equipment, is a portable storage container approximately 8 feet wide, 8 feet tall and 40 feet long, Martinez said.
Firefighters said they believed the cause of the fire may be electrical; however, the exact cause will be determined by the Cocoa fire marshal upon further investigation.
All work was halted at the facility under the orders of the city building inspector until repairs can be made.
A cost of the damages was not immediately available from SpaceX. Martinez estimated the damage could cost between $50,000 and $100,000 to repair.
“This afternoon, a small fire occurred at a SpaceX facility in Cocoa, Florida. The fire was contained to a sea van on site and extinguished thanks to the Cocoa Fire Department, which responded within minutes," a SpaceX spokesman said. "There were no injuries as a result of the fire, and the cause is under investigation.”
The Starship stands at 180 feet tall and 30 feet wide and will launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on a 200-foot-tall booster known as the Super Heavy booster.
Starship is designed to be fully reusable for human flights to the moon and Mars, but the spaceship is years away from flight.