Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

SpaceX Starship Broken in Half by Heavy Winds, Weeks Needed for Repairs

SpaceX Starship Broken in Half by Heavy Winds, Weeks Needed for Repairs

Responding to Twitter users requests for info, Elon Musk confirmed the Starship prototype has indeed been hurt by 50 miles per hour winds. It "will take a few weeks to fix", Musk added.

Earlier in January, he unveiled the shiny Starship for the first launching and landing tests (sub-orbital tests), and according to Elon Musk, another orbital prototype should be ready around June.

However, according to the National Weather Service in Brownsville, Texas, the wind advisory was issued late on Tuesday - "caution is advised for high-profile vehicles".

SpaceX is facing a bit of a setback in the development of its Martian rocket prototype, after high winds blew over the top half of the vehicle. According to the Verge, Musk tweeted that the Starship's mooring blocks broke during 50 mile per hour winds and that the fairing will take weeks to fix, though its propellant tanks are fine. SpaceX CEO Musk also confirmed via a tweet that his Starship test rocket was no longer standing. Unfortunately for the company, Starhopper didn't make it out unscathed, and Musk estimates that it will take weeks to patch things up. The test version of Starship is shorter than the final version will be.

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A photo taken by NASAspaceflight.com member "BocaChicaGal" shows the rocket's crumpled top on the ground.

Musk later tweeted saying that the "actual tanks" - the more complex base of the rocket - "are fine".

The version of the hopper damaged on Wednesday is built of stainless steel, a material never before used successfully in the space industry. In a recent interview with Popular Mechanics, SpaceX CEO said that it is being built with stainless steel because it is cheap and fast, while also being strong enough to endure the intense temperature changes and pressure of flying through the Earth's atmosphere.

Starship is the name given to the second stage of SpaceX's future rocket design.

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