The prototype of Musk’s Starship spacecraft was damaged by the strong winds

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“The winds were so loud that what you heard sounded like a freight train coming through here,” a resident in the area said. The craft sustained serious damage and according Elon Musk will need weeks to repair, though its propellant tanks are fine. It’s hard to tell what damage has precisely happened. The Starship spacecraft, a reusable second stage launch vehicle, is designed to launch from Earth on top of a large rocket booster called the Super Heavy.

spacecraft-before-accident
The spacecraft before the accident

It is not actually built to full height intended. It is a test machine meant to show that the Starship’s fundamentals can work in terms of launching and landing. SpaceX wants the rocket to go 16,400 feet into the air and land again. The test hopper is a squat version of a full-scale Starship, a spaceship that’s being designed to send people to Mars.  On Jan. 5, Musk tweeted that he was aiming for the first tests of the prototype in “four weeks, which probably means 8 weeks, due to unforeseen issues.” Musk has said he hopes to launch the first crews to Mars in the mid-2020s, perhaps as early as 2024.

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