SpaceX’s Test Rocket Topples Over In The Wind
SpaceX has been working on their BFR rocket for quite some time now. The company was getting ready to perform a test rocket launch soon from their facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Starship, formerly known as BFR, is Elon Musk’s dream to carry people and cargo into the orbit. It may even travel to the Moon, Mars and beyond at some point in the future. But, for now, it seems that the Texas wind is taking a toll on the rocket.
Starship Hopper nose cone has been moved ahead of repairs.— Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) January 23, 2019
?NSF's BocaChicaGalhttps://t.co/CZ07SqRUgV pic.twitter.com/Zj6AGjAF6R
Photos suggest that the test rocket that was being prepared for a launch test has toppled over in the strong 50 miles per hour wind. According to Elon Musk, the mishap will take a few weeks to repair. According to Musk, the rocket was being prepared for a test launch in a few week’s time but the strong winds broke the Starship’s Mooring Blocks. These mooring blocks are responsible in keeping the rocket secured to the ground. This reportedly caused the Starship’s upper fairing to topple over.
The rocket is being made from stainless steel. Elon Musk says that 310S stainless is better for the high temperature outer skin, as it can bear approximately 1450 Kelvin heat, so active cooling with cryogenic fuel only has to mitigate 300 degrees of delta temperature. The stainless steel fairing on the top seemed to have been damaged by the fall. Elon also reported that the bottom part of the rocket that houses the propellant tanks are fine.
SpaceX wishes to do hop tests with this rocket. The speciality of the rocket is its reusability which according to the company will make space travel economical and accessible. The hop tests involve igniting the vehicle’s engines and sending the rocket to low altitudes and getting them back to Earth upright. The final design of the rocket however, will differ from the test rocket that has toppled over. The Raptor engines of the rocket are said to be going through a radical redesign. The test vehicle is slightly shorter than the Starship’s final design. The Starship will also boast of seven engines while the test vehicle has only three.
Development and manufacturing of the Starship will reportedly be done from Hawthorne, California but the company is planning to shift some of it’s Starship prototype production to Boca Chica, Texas. The reason for that, given by Musk, is that the prototypes were too big to move across the country easily.