Watch This Dodge Caravan’s Last Moments Before The SpaceX Starship Obliterates It

Screenshot of a Dodge Caravan a 1/4 mile away from the SpaceX Starship launch site
Screenshot of a Dodge Caravan a 1/4 mile away from the SpaceX Starship launch site

Normally, the Dodge Caravan is used as a popular passenger van among families with young children. However, last week one Caravan found itself with a front-row seat to the launch of the tallest, most powerful rocket ever built, the SpaceX Starship. The rocket consisted of two vehicles: the super-heavy rocket, and the Starship spacecraft mounted to it. Even though the launch of the Starship eventually resulted in its “rapid unscheduled disassembly” (i.e. it exploded), researchers still consider it a success as failure is all part of the r&d process.

Thankfully no one was harmed by the demise of the SpaceX Starship. However, it did manage to leave some destruction in its wake, including the surrounding area of the launch site and one Dodge Caravan.

How Did The Rocket Damage the Dodge Caravan?

Owned by NASA Spaceflight (NSF), the Dodge Caravan was parked a quarter-mile away from the launch site to capture the rocket’s takeoff on video from multiple angles. It was assumed that this would be a far enough distance away to film the Starship’s maiden voyage safely. However, physics and flying debris had other plans.

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When the rocket took off, it was generating 17 million pounds of thrust by way of its 33 high-powered engines. As expected, the launch created a massive cloud of dirt and dust. But what was not expected was the massive amounts of debris being sent through the air. Unfortunately for the Dodge Caravan, it was the recipient of a big chunk of concrete getting slammed into its liftgate and D-pillar.

The Aftermath

Upon inspecting the vehicle in the Starship’s aftermath, members of NSF noticed that the Dodge Caravan wasn’t the only casualty taken out by the rocket’s launch. Two cameras, tripods, electronics, and glass from the Caravan’s windows were also taken out by pieces of debris, as well as the sheer force of the rocket itself. But despite the devastation, the Dodge Caravan’s ignition was miraculously unharmed, allowing the researchers to start it up again.

Apparently, there is still hope for the damaged Dodge Caravan. According to NSF, they were able to drive it away from the site even though there was the scent of leaking coolant. The company is currently communicating with a body shop to possibly rectify the Dodge back into shape. However, if it can’t be done, at least the van went out in a blaze of glory.

Regardless of the Dodge Caravan’s fate, NSF still has a sense of humor over the incident by releasing a new T-shirt featuring a profile of the van with a piece of debris being launched into it with the caption It was a concrete way to go.”

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