SpaceX engineer injured during engine test in January

During an engine test of a Raptor engine on January 18, 2022, a SpaceX engineer suffered a fractured skull when a protective cover broke off during venting.

The final step in the pressure check operation, venting, was done for the first time using an automated program as opposed to the normal manual method that had been used in previous operations. Immediately after initiating the automated venting, the employee was struck by the fuel controller cover which broke free from the controller module. The controller cover had sheared at the vertical to horizontal beveled seam, liberating the cover face from the assembly. The employee suffered a skull fracture and head trauma and was hospitalized in a coma for months.

OSHA fined SpaceX $18,475 in July for the accident.

According to a report yesterday in the Los Angeles Times, the employee, Francisco Cabada, was placed in a coma for two months. That report however is very unclear when he was placed in a coma, or his present condition. Also unclear about his present condition is the GoFundMe site created by his wife. As the OSHA case still appears open, this suggest Cabada has not yet recovered fully.