SpaceX’s Starship prototype in Texas won’t be hopping anytime soon because the rocket’s nose cone fell off, according to a NASASpaceflight.com report that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed.
The company has been developing a test version of the Starship spaceship, formerly known as Big Falcon Rocket, in Boca Chica, Texas. The hopper will be used for short suborbital flights and landings.
SpaceX officials confirmed earlier this month the company plans to start testing the Starship hopper. However, Musk said Wednesday in a tweet that 50 mph winds blew off the spaceship’s fairings or nose cone. The SpaceX founder later confirmed the “actual tanks are fine.”
A photo taken by NASAspaceflight.com member "BocaChicaGal" shows the rocket's crumpled top on the ground.
I just heard. 50 mph winds broke the mooring blocks late last night & fairing was blown over. Will take a few weeks to repair.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 23, 2019
The Starship hopper will take a few weeks to repair, Musk said in a tweet.
In a recent interview with Popular Mechanics, Musk said Starship and the spaceship’s Super Heavy rocket booster will be constructed of stainless steel.
When Starship and the Super Heavy booster are complete, SpaceX plans to launch the fully reusable launch system to Mars and beyond.
SpaceX is also preparing for the first test launch of its astronaut-rated Crew Dragon capsule from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Astronauts will not be onboard the flight, which is slated for sometime after mid-February, but if all goes well SpaceX will launch two NASA astronauts on a second test flight in June.