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

Wind sheers off SpaceX Starship 1 photo
Photo: Maria Pointer via Facebook
The stainless steel bullet-shaped test vehicle SpaceX has been displaying vertically in Texas for a while is now horizontal after a series of Texan gusts of wind knocked it down.
Imaging surfacing starting Wednesday all over the Internet show the so-called Starship on its side on the ground, bruised and dented, with its nosecone apparently blown off.

Responding to Twitter users requests for info, Elon Musk confirmed the Starship prototype has indeed been hurt by 50 mph winds. The gusts broke the “mooring blocks,“ and the “fairing was blown over.” Musk says it would take the SpaceX team a few weeks to repair the damage.

The Starship pictured here is the test vehicle the private space company will use prior to the actual build of what is likely to become humanity’s first interplanetary spaceship.

Called Starship hopper by SpaceX, the prototype is meant to take off and land repeatedly to test a series of systems. During its flight, it can reach an altitude of 16,400 feet (5 km) and then come back down and land.

The version of the hopper damaged on Wednesday is built of stainless steel, a material never before used successfully in the space industry. Musk said in an interview with Popular Mechanics published this week that there were two reasons why this material was chosen: low price and high strength.

The billionaire said the steel used for the construction of the Starship is different than the one used in early Atlas rockets. Treated at cryogenic temperatures, it turns into a material that is better than carbon fiber, judging by strength to weight ratio.

Provided the “mooring blocks“ hold their ground, apparently.

The Starship, formerly known by many other names, will eventually be used by SpaceX to send a crewed mission to Mars. The most recent specs of the ship put its dimensions at 55 meters (180 feet).
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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