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SpaceX Starship prototype damaged by high-speed winds, might delay Mars mission
We might have to wait for the Mars landings
SpaceX might have delayed its mission to Mars for a few weeks, as the Martian rocket prototype's top half suffered a huge blow due to high-speed winds. CEO Elon Musk tweeted that winds of 50 miles per hour "broke the mooring blocks late last night" and also blew over the prototype's "fairing" - the nose of the rocket. It "will take a few weeks to repair," Musk added.
The rocket represents the test iteration of Starship, which the company is building to ferry humans and cargo to the Red Planet. The rocket is under testing in Brownsville, Texas. The prototype is smaller than the actual Starship would be.
Musk has confirmed that the test version is for low altitude "Hop" flights, which aren't supposed to reach the orbit. An image shared by a member of NASA Spaceflight's online forum, shows the aftermath of the accident including the rocket's nosecone crumpled on the ground.
Musk later tweeted saying that the "actual tanks" - the more complex base of the rocket - "are fine." Starship is being built out of very stainless steel, rather than carbon fiber.
Musk also recently told Popular Mechanics that building with stainless steel is cheap and a fast process, while also being strong to endure the temperature changes and flying pressure through our planet's atmosphere. It's "very easy to work with steel," Musk said.