From Launch Pad to eBay: SpaceX Starship Heat Shield Debris Surfaces on Marketplace After Explosions
Source: NASA

From Launch Pad to eBay: SpaceX Starship Heat Shield Debris Surfaces on Marketplace After Explosions


Do you want to own a piece of the SpaceX Starship spacecraft? You can find rare pieces on eBay today!

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched three test flights of its fully stacked Starship prototype to date. The last flight launched this March, reached orbital velocity before breaking up over the Indian Ocean.

However, last year’s first two launches exploded only minutes after liftoff, causing debris to wash up on shores across South Texas and North Mexican Gulf Coast beaches.

Some of the debris included hexagonal ceramic tiles, which protect the Starship spacecraft from extreme heat encountered during its high-speed re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The SpaceX Starship ceramic heatshield tiles are a more advanced version than the notoriously problematic heat shield tiles used on the Space Shuttle, which had plagued that program over the years.

However, since some tiles from the first two Starship missions exploded near the launch site and washed up in relatively good condition, some enterprising sellers on eBay found a way to turn them into cash.

About 18,000 of these lightweight ceramic tiles protect the Starship for re-entry. However, due to the explosive destruction of the first two missions, not many well-preserved units survived.

Still, some remarkably good pieces are listed on eBay, with one seller deeming their finds as “museum quality” and offering a “certificate of authenticity.” Currently, the best-preserved units list for over $2,400 each, while space collectors can buy fragments for just under $200.

SpaceX Starship Debris Completed Sales Near $10K

However, a review of previously sold items shows several pieces found in Mexico sold for over $5,000, with one reaching a final bid price of $9,100. These sales clearly fall into the “enthusiast buyer” category and strategy.

SpaceX Starship Heat Tile on eBay - Completed Listing.
Source: eBay

The good news for sellers and collectors is that since these rare pieces are from un-manned prototypes, they don’t seem to fall into the prohibited and restrictive items list by eBay, specifically items that could be restricted under the company’s “Disaster and tragedy policy,” if these test flights had involved the loss of crew.

Therefore, if you want to own a piece of space “history,” here is your chance, as a few items remain for sale on eBay. (affiliate)

And with the latest SpaceX Starship launch making it to orbital velocity and undergoing some test maneuvers in space before re-rentering to earth – yet either burning up or exploding over the Indian Ocean – the chances of finding more of these rare collectibles will diminish rapidly.

Let’s face it: we are still trying to find MH370, a Boeing 777 that disappeared ten years ago in the Indian Ocean!

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