Winds Topple, Damage Space X Rocket Prototype

Winds blow over SpaceX rocket at Boca Chica Beach

Musk said 50 miles per hour wind gusts broke the rocket's mooring blocks late Tuesday night, prompting the its top part to tip sideways.

The top portion of the prototype of the Space X Mars rocket that has recently become a familiar site on Boca Chica Beach is no longer upright.

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, said that the top section of his company's shiny new prototype of a giant rocket was blown over by powerful gusts of wind overnight.

The billionaire said the steel used for the construction of the Starship is different than the one used in early Atlas rockets.

Musk and SpaceX confirmed those reports early Wednesday morning via Twitter, saying the damage will take weeks to fix. "Will take a few weeks to fix", confirmed Musk when a Twitter user asked him about the crash.

The test hopper is a squat version of a full-scale Starship: a spaceship that's being created to send people to Mars. The test version of Starship is shorter than the final version will be. Musk and Gwynne Shotwell, the president of SpaceX, call the ship the "test hopper" because it's not created to launch to Mars or even into orbit around Earth.

The tweet below shows what the Starship prototype looked like after the heavy, sustained winds knocked over the nosecone.

Musk followed up in a later tweet by saying that the "actual tanks" - the more complex base of the rocket - "are fine".

SpaceX had originally planned to build the hopper out of carbon-fiber composites but has since shifted to a stainless steel alloy. 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. That benefit accelerates SpaceX's development schedule for Starship, he added.



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