SpaceX wants to try a new way to recover the reusable thrusters from its rockets. In response to a Twitter user, who had conducted a video simulation of the landing of the Starship Super Heavy booster, Elon Musk made it known that his company plans to use the launch tower arm to “catch them”.
When they return to Earth, the propellants of the current Falcon 9 rockets use their set of stabilizing legs to land. However, according to SpaceX’s CEO, Super Heavy will not follow the same structure.
In addition to requiring careful control of engine speed, the landing process will involve using the Super Heavy’s side flaps to orient it correctly, so that it can be “hooked” by the launch tower arm even before it hits the ground .
Although the maneuver requires a higher level of accuracy, the company will be able to cut costs and the weight of the booster by omitting the stabilizing legs from its design. Like explains Elon Musk, the decision could also help reuse propellers immediately as soon as they return to Earth, a process that SpaceX aims to do in less than an hour.
It should be recalled that, even in December last year, the company successfully tested the Starship’s SN8 prototype, which ended up exploding on contact with the ground. Elon Musk had already mentioned that the prototype had only 1 in 3 chances of surviving the test.
In the test, the spacecraft prototype that could one day transport humans to Mars reached its greatest flight. SpaceX had already made it known that the test’s success would not be measured by the completion of the specific objectives, but rather everything it could learn from it, in order to improve the probability of success in the future.