Starship will be caught with huge “hands” in four weeks

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced that the fifth test of the super-powerful Starship rocket is scheduled for “four weeks from now.” That is, in early August.

The launch tower with the “arms” that will catch the Super Heavy upper stage. Photo: SpaceX

During the next test, it is planned to try to “catch” the first stage of the Starship after it launches the upper stage spacecraft into orbit. Unlike the Falcon 9, which uses landing legs, the Starship has no such legs and must be caught with large mechanical arms attached to the launch tower. The animation shows how it will look like.

The reuse of the first stage will allow SpaceX to significantly reduce the cost of launching and increase the frequency of flights using reusable boosters.

Musk has a long-term vision for the Starship project, one of the goals of which is to help humanity land on the Red Planet. In a post on social media, he stated that “SpaceX will colonize Mars,” emphasizing the importance of maintaining the technological level of Earth’s civilization long enough for the colony to become self-sufficient even without constant supplies.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done before these plans are realized. SpaceX is still working on the full development of the Starship, a 120-meter-high rocket. The first flight took place in April last year and ended in an explosion a few minutes after launch. Three subsequent tests, the last of which took place last month, showed significant progress.

Before the next flight, SpaceX must obtain permission from the US Federal Aviation Administration. Like all previous Starship flights, the fifth launch will take place from SpaceX Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas. We will keep you posted as soon as the launch date is confirmed.

When Starship passes all the tests and receives the final license, the rocket will start delivering crews and cargo to the Moon. Starship will then deliver astronauts to Mars and even help establish a permanent base on the Red Planet.

Earlier, we reported how SpaceX’s plans to increase launches to 120 times a year angered Blue Origin and ULA.

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