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Engines explode all the time. They usually have fuel in them when they do though.
During what was essentially a wind-tunnel test of an experimental satellite propulsion system that would use Earth's magnetic field instead of chemical propellants to zip around our planet, the test satellite exploded, sending hot chunks of metal flying.
Despite the explosion, the NASA-funded device has since been improved and represents a new breed of satellites that could alter satellite physics and economies. The idea is to create millions of cheap satellites the size of corn kernels (and smaller) to augment today's multi-million dollar, car-sized satellite armada.