Video of the SpaceX Super Heavy Booster Hover

Super Heavy landing burn and soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico.

This will look even more amazing with the tower catch next time.

I have been predicting with 99.9% confidence for over 3 months that SpaceX would catch the booster with the tower this year.

The launch tower arms are only a bit smaller than the drone ship. And they adjust up and down. This is only the booster. It does not need heat shield fixes. We had a good hover. It is software and they have done the Falcon 9 booster like 200 times. Yes stuff can happen but 200 falcon booster landings would show 99.5. But I believe in the SpaceX team and Elon. Once they are recovering boosters then SpaceX only needs 6 raptors to replace upper stage. It will be 5 times easier to do more launches after the booster recovery starts.

I think the upper stage recovery can happen on the mission after this next one. Once we are recovering both without damage then SpaceX goes full next level with rapid reusability. Elon called rapid reusability essential to colonizing Mars and it is the hardest technical part.

11 thoughts on “Video of the SpaceX Super Heavy Booster Hover”

  1. As soon as booster can be reused, Starship can start to launch Starlink stack while refining the re-entry. So the test would be essentially free.

    • Honestly if they are not Raptor 2 engines on the booster then it isn’t worth landing and reusing the booster.

  2. With Dear Moon canceled and SuperHeavy tower capture coming up soon, I wonder where the plans are currently for building the first crewed version of Starship?

    Polaris 3 may still be a test flight for some Crewed Starship. Will SpaceX build an Artemis Lander first? Will it go ahead with some sort of Crewed Starship like what would have been Dear Moon that has thermal tiles and can test re-entry?

    SpaceX has plenty to do with launching Starlink V2 and propellant Depot Starship and testing prop transfer, but it seems like the need to start building and testing a crewed Starship is fast approaching.

  3. Wonderful. If I may point a POV out? In the 1960’s, when I was a boy, so many called that the “Space Age”. Know what I think the “real” space age will “be”, and be here? It will be a date no one will remember, because it is so common, no one will notice. As today when hundreds of commercial planes cross our oceans every day, the only time we notice is when a plane does NOT show up. Once we hit that sense of “it ain’t noticable unless it doesn’t work”, is when we will all “sense” the real Space Age is in our face. Oh, I pray for that unknowable moment… I hope I live long enough to feel that. Just that revelation, gives me reason to live long enough to “be aware” of that quiet, gentle, moment. Oh yeah…

  4. There may be a period where starships deliver starlink cargos, and then serve as reentry prototypes. Maybe the flaps will be made easily replacable.

  5. When I look at photos of the chopstick arms, I see a long motor-driven lead screw driving a block with a pin back-and-forth.
    I’m guessing that that pin must engage with a mating hole on the airframe.
    So, they have to hover, then use the attitude control thrusters to roll the booster to allow the mating to happen.
    Is that how this works?

    • I believe that the plan is for the fins to simply rest on the chopstick arms, not a precise mating hole joint.

    • I think the fins or gridfins just land on it. Not sure if it actually mates with any hardware or just rests.

    • No, the airframe has two downward facing pegs just under the grid fins, which land in a track.

  6. That fire is probably related to the raptor that didn’t light up on the deceleration burn. It would make me nervous if there were a tower nearby, but I guess it would probably not be enough to damage it, plus it would be nice to have the booster for a postmortem.

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