The reusable Spacex rocket system is reliable enough for Spacex to launch drone vessels as remote landing pads. The ships will use thrusters adapted from deep sea oil rigs to hold position within three meters of their intended target, even under rough seas. The seaport’s base measures 300 feet by 100 feet, with “wings” that extend back to 170 feet.
Elon Musk tweeted out pictures of SpaceX’s latest version of the reusable Falcon 9R rocket, which is now fitted with a set of four independently-adjustable fins. Elon Musk described them as real-life X-wings. The grid fins are designed to deploy only after takeoff, when they’ll work together with thrusters to help the rocket maneuver itself into position for those spectacular vertical landings.
Grid fins are stowed on ascent and then deploy on reentry for "x-wing" style control. Each fin moves independently for pitch/yaw/roll.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 22, 2014
Musk says the hypersonic grid fins are similar to a set used on a test earlier this year — you can check them out in the video below at the 1:10 mark.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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