The top portion of SpaceX's shiny prototype of its giant Starship rocket fell on Wednesday morning due to heavy winds.
He added: "50 km / h winds broke the berths last night and the fairing was blown up and the repair takes several weeks."
A representative of SpaceX independently confirmed to Business Insider that the upper part of the vehicle – called the fairing or nose bone ̵
The SpaceX facility is located on the southern tip of Texas. One local, who was not asked to be named, said the winds blew at 50 km / h all Tuesday and hit early Wednesday.
"For about 2 to 5 years, it was nothing but rattling and breaking metal and trees, it felt like a hurricane," said the resident. "Everything SpaceX did to prepare for this storm acted against them, looking as if they had blocked the wind coming from the southeast, but the wind changed during the night and came from the northeast – and that idiot flew away. "
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Below is a picture that Musk shared in January with the fully integrated rocket. After it had been taken, SpaceX staff removed the nasal stylus and attached it to Mooring. (A person wearing a space suit stands in front of the assembled vehicle.)
 ] The resident said the nasal needle had since been moved to a large shed where the crews would try to repair the damage.
"The winds were so loud that what you heard sounds like a freight train," said the resident. "You could not tell from the crash because the wind was just too loud."
A photo of the site was taken on Wednesday morning and posted on Facebook. It shows that the upper part of the nose has been crumpled and broken.
Another photo on Facebook shows the lower part of the rocket, which survived the storm seemingly unscathed.
A video posted on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon showed strong winds against the ship's hardware at the SpaceX plant. The gusts seemed strong enough to moan parts of the ship under load.
Why SpaceX Built a Rocket Ship Stainless Steel Prototype
Since the end of last year, SpaceX has been working feverishly on building the prototype vehicle at its Texas plant. SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Musk and Gwynne Shotwell call the vessel "Test Hopper."
The vehicle is not designed to take off to Mars or even into orbit. Instead, the somewhat crude and windowless ship will shoot up "hops," which, according to the Federal Communications Commission, will not blow up more than 16,400 feet.
In early January, Musk said the ship could launch this hop in four to eight weeks, but given the damage, the timeline no longer seems tenable.
The prototype is a critical test vehicle whose successes (or failures) show how SpaceX relies on an orbiting prototype from Starship, an approximately 18-story spacecraft that can carry up to 100 people in a day, perhaps 150 tons Cargo to Mars.
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SpaceX engineers had planned to build Starship and its 19-story carbon fiber rocket amplifier composites. However, when the test container arrived in Texas in December, Musk announced that it would be made of stainless steel.
Musk recently told Popular Mechanics that the conversion to stainless steel "will accelerate its timeline for the introduction of a full-fledged Starship and Super Heavy system." Stainless steel is a relatively rich material that has long been used in vehicles and is relatively inexpensive.
Musk says he hopes to bring the first crews to Mars in the mid-2020s, perhaps as early as 2024. He has also already introduced the person who is possibly the first manned passenger of the rocket ship: the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. The plan is to bring eight artists on a moon flight in 2023.
"I will make a complete technical presentation of Starship after the test vehicle we build in Texas flies, so hopefully March / April." Musk tweeted on December 22 .
This story is developing.