General, Research, Technology

Elon Musk suggested catching a Starship rocket using a launch tower

In 2015, SpaceX launched into spacerocket Falcon 9 and for the first time in history returned the first stage back to Earth. It costs billions of dollars to assemble and launch rockets, so returning and reusing parts can save you a lot of money. Over the next years, we have seen successful landings of the first stages of the company's missiles many times, and today we are no longer surprised. But recently, Elon Musk talked about a completely new way of returning rockets to Earth. In the future, the Super Heavy booster, which is part of the Starship spacecraft, will descend directly onto the launch tower, he said. The tower will literally wrap around the accelerator, which will reduce the risk of an accident. Thanks to the new technology, the reusable Super Heavy will be ready for next flights even without repairs, which will make it possible to launch missiles much more often than now. But Elon Musk needs only this.

For catching spent accelerators, approximately the following tower will be used

New SpaceX technology

For the first time about new technology returnaccelerators to Earth became known on December 30. One of Elon Musk's subscribers created a video in which he showed how the descent of the Super Heavy, which is under development, will look like. In response to the published video, Elon Musk wrote that the company was going to catch him with a launch tower. The special design will wrap the Super Heavy from all sides and take all the load on itself. This will reduce the risk of an accident and make it easier to move the accelerator to another location. Indeed, at the moment the stages of the Falcon 9 rocket descend onto the water platform and sometimes problems arise during the landing process.

Accurate Super Heavy Descent profile?

- Erc X (@ErcXspace) December 30, 2020

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The very next day after this announcementanother subscriber, Elon Musk, posted a video demonstrating the entrepreneur's idea more clearly. It shows how the launch tower catches the accelerator with the help of some "claws" and gently lowers it to the landing pad. At the moment, the idea looks fantastic, but once upon a time even the very idea of ​​reusing missiles was considered unrealistic. But this is already a reality and not only SpaceX but also Rocket Lab possesses such skill. At the end of 2020, she successfully returned the first stage of the Electron rocket to Earth - you can read about this at this link.

Starship spaceship

If Elon Musk's plans come true in a dozenyears he will really be able to create so many ships, his dream of colonizing Mars may come true after the 2020s. Along the way, he will be able to translate into reality and other plans, because Starship will be able to perform other tasks. For example, it will be able to quickly launch Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit to provide the entire world with Internet. The ship is also planned to be used for intercontinental flights. The rocket's passengers will be able to fly around half the planet and find themselves in a completely different part of the world in just an hour or less.

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And of course, thanks to the reusableSuper Heavy accelerators, SpaceX will be able to take orders from outside. In 2024, NASA plans to send its astronauts to the lunar surface for the second time. After this event, the construction of the first ever lunar base may begin, which will become a staging post for travels to more distant corners of the solar system. Both people and cargo will need to be delivered to the moon, so SpaceX's services are likely to be in demand. Thanks to the reusable Super Heavy, the company will be able to offer customers lower prices than competitors.