While Starship is now SpaceX’s top priority, Elon Musk wanted to give his fan club on Twitter some clarification on the landing of the future Super Heavy who will accompany the spaceship. As Numerama reminds us, the Super Heavy is equivalent to the lower tier of the rocket. The equivalent of a Falcon 9 or a Falcon Heavy, that famous part that Elon Musk recovers after every mission.
The Super Heavy Booster is caught immediately
When the upper tier of the spaceship is well advanced, we have little information about the lower tier, but this is very important as the latter enables the spaceship to be propelled in space. . So far we knew the following: The launcher must have six Raptor engines and be 50 meters high. Elon Musk had already indicated that this launcher would likely be paired with a super powerful and reusable booster with 31 Raptor engines, the famous Super Heavy.
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We’re going to try to catch the Super Heavy Booster with the arm of the launch tower using the grid fins to take the load
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 30, 2020
In a tweet dated December 30, 2020, Elon Musk hinted that this super heavy booster would be eligible for a special landing when it returned from its mission. According to his tweet, the SpaceX boss plans: “Catch the Super Heavy stage with the arm of the launch tower to save the bulk and cost of robotic legs. This technique would allow the start to be repositioned immediately on its startup medium. “This recovery technique would be a small revolution in the space industry. Take this information with a grain of salt, it is more careful with musk.
The reuse of engines could become the norm
In 2019, SpaceX entered the history of space conquest by proving that it was possible to reuse engines. It was the Falcon Heavy rocket at the time that accomplished this feat. After launch to put the Arabsat-6A satellite into orbit, the lower stage sank back to Earth and SpaceX was able to restore its three boosters. A small achievement. The two outer parts landed in one piece, while the central core landed on a SpaceX platform in the middle of the Atlantic.
SpaceX is making good progress on its spaceship. After several failures, the company finally managed to fly a prototype of the spacecraft. The test took place in Boca Chica, Texas, where SpaceX’s production and launch base is located. It was the SN5 prototype that took off just over 150 meters above sea level before landing on the ground 40 seconds later. Keep in mind that the goal of this spaceship is to transport people by March and that it must fly from 2024. Do the first tests of this super heavy booster!