High winds blow over, damage SpaceX rocket in Rio Grande Valley

Elon Musk: 50 mph winds broke mooring blocks

Photo Credit: Maria Pointer/BocachicaMaria

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – SpaceX's Starship Starhopper prototype was damaged Tuesday night after high winds toppled the rocket's nose cone over in the Rio Grande Valley.

The company's CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted Wednesday that "50 mph winds broke the mooring blocks (Tuesday night) and the fairing was blown over."

"Will take a few weeks to repair," Musk tweeted. 

While Musk said the damage occurred "late last night," KSAT meteorologist Justin Horne said around 5 a.m. Wednesday, the Rio Grande Valley was hit with winds reaching up to speeds of 46 mph.

In December, SpaceX officials announced plans to assemble Starship included the prototype being relocated from the Port of Los Angeles to Boca Chica Beach in South Texas, which is south of South Padre Island.

The move to the Rio Grande Valley was not only for the construction but also the launch site for the Starship Hopper.

On Jan. 10, Musk tweeted a picture of the prototype rocket, saying, "Starship test flight rocket just finished assembly at the @SpaceX Texas launch site."

While it was completed, the upper section of the rocket was detached from its base and Musk said the "actual tanks are fine."

The rocket, designed for takeoff and landing tests, will be used for short "hopper" flights. The plans for the first Starship orbital prototype should be done around June, Musk said.

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