This was no accident – it was actually done on purpose. Engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center completed the structural qualification test for the Space Launch System rocket.
Essentially, it was pushed beyond its limits until it broke and water gushed from the tank. NASA says the tank is a test article identical to part of the SLS core stage, which will produce millions of pounds of thrust to launch the rocket.
This is to ensure that the rocket’s structure can endure the rigors of the launch and safely transport astronauts to the moon.
This was the largest test campaign conducted at Marshall since the tests for the Space Shuttle program, more than 30 years ago.