SpaceX has confirmed that they will try to catch the Super Heavy Booster on the landing of its first test flight.
The Starship and Mechazilla progress in on top of a massive increase in SpaceX Falcon 9 launches. SpaceX launched six Falcon 9 over a 17 day period in July SpaceX might be able to sustain 6 launches per month for the remaining five months of 2022 to reach 63 launches. If SpaceX could sustain a launch every three days they would be able to launch 120 times in a year. This might be a level possible in 2023 with just Falcon 9. Transitioning to Starship and Mechazilla launch tower is a path to daily and multiple launches per day.
The Mechazilla launch tower in a 480 foot tall stationary robot with massive moving chopstick arms. the arms present a landing target about the size of the drone ships that SpaceX has been using for Falcon 9 booster landings.
I made a video explaining why catching boosters for immediate refueling and relaunch will lead to hourly rocket flights down from about once every 30 days for the fastest SpaceX reflights. This will enable 500-1000 times as many reflights. Combined with full rocket reusability the launch tower catch will change rocket flight into something very close to the frequency and low cost of airplanes.
SpaceX will be checking sensors and satellite monitoring of the Booster after launches and separates. If it is looking good then they will try to catch it. If the booster has any issues of concern they will have it drop itself into the Gulf of Mexico.
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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