Tesla
Cold Snap

SpaceX Starship Testing Shut Down by Huge Snowstorm

byVictor Tangermann
Feb 16
Tesla

Freak weather in Texas is wreaking havoc with SpaceX's operations.

Frosty the Starship

As if launching a 165-foot spacecraft prototype wasn’t complicated enough, SpaceX now has to contend itself with extreme winter weather hitting its Texas testing facilities.

Development of its Starship program has slowed to a crawl as a result of freezing temperatures and high winds, Teslarati reports — though it’ll probably be back to business as usual once the weather clears.

Deep Freeze

The space company’s facilities in Boca Chica, Texas, weren’t immune to a historic deep freeze. Power demand skyrocketed as home owners attempted to stay warm using electricity. More than four million Texans were left in the dark following several blackouts, CNN reports.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who recently moved to Austin, Texas, didn’t fare much better. “Covered in snow and ice, roads mostly closed and no power in Austin,” Musk tweeted Tuesday morning.

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And as it turns out, freezing rain and sustained winds aren’t ideal conditions for launching rockets, either. In fact, high winds alone would’ve been enough to force SpaceX to push back the date of its next Starship prototype launch.

Temperature differentials also likely make cryogenic liquid methane and oxygen fuel tests a nightmare for SpaceX’s engineers, as Teslarati points out.

SN10 Later

Tesla’s Gigafactory in Austin, Texas was also blanketed in a fresh layer of snow, a highly unusual sight for the area.

SpaceX is still holding out to launch its SN10 prototype, following two highly dramatic launches in December and early February.

Luckily, Texas is in for some far more predictable — and warmer — weather starting as soon as tomorrow.

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READ MORE: SpaceX Starship testing slows to a crawl amid high winds and freezing rain [Teslarati]

More on SpaceX: SpaceX Rocket Crashes Into Ocean When Landing Fails

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