Despite the incident, the rocket reached Earth orbit and successfully completed its assigned mission.
Through his Twitter account, the CEO and founder of the SpaceX company, Elon Musk, attributed This Wednesday to a “small amount” of cleaning fluid the failure experienced by one of the Merlin engines of the Falcon 9 rocket on March 18, during the launch of the Starlink mission.
When questioned on Twitter about what happened in the framework of that mission, Musk said that the failure in one of the nine engines was due to “a small amount of isopropyl alcohol (used as a cleaner) that was trapped […] on a sensor and caught fire in flight. “
Despite this, the Falcon 9 rocket reached Earth orbit and unfolded the 60 Starlink satellites as planned.
It should be remembered that the levels of isopropyl alcohol in the atmosphere of the International Space Station were up largely after the docking of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, also designed by SpaceX, in early March last year.