The tweet got here (as they usually do) in response to a query from one in all Musk’s followers. On this case, it was an area designer who goes by the Twitter deal with Erc X (@ErcXspace) who produced a video that illustrates what the Tremendous Heavy would possibly appear to be because it returns to its touchdown web site. The video is captioned with a query: “Correct Tremendous Heavy Descent profile?”
Musk responded by tweeting:
“We’re going to attempt to catch the Tremendous Heavy Booster with the launch tower arm, utilizing the grid fins to take the load… Saves mass & price of legs & allows speedy repositioning of booster on to launch mount—able to refly in below an hour.”
The next day, a 3D designer (Youtube deal with Mini3D) created an animation based mostly on this description (proven under). It depicts the launch tower with a harness, which takes maintain of the Tremendous Heavy booster after it lowers itself into the arms. The harness then lowers the booster to a touchdown pad, thus eliminating the necessity for touchdown legs and rising the percentages of a secure restoration.
As Musk indicated, this catch system can also be a part of what he hopes will quantity to common journeys to house. Up to now, Musk has hinted that his long-term imaginative and prescient is to scale-up manufacturing of the Starship to the purpose the place they will construct 100 a 12 months for ten years (making a fleet of 1000). This fleet, he claimed, might transport 100 megatons of cargo or 100 folks to Mars each 26 months (when Earth and Mars are closest of their orbits).
With that form of capability for hauling provides, tools, robots, and passengers, Musk would be capable to understand his dream of setting up a colony on Mars by the late 2020s. Whether or not or not that extremely bold purpose can be achieved on this decade (or ever, for that matter) stays to be seen. However within the meantime, Musk might make good on quite a lot of issues he’s talked about prior to now.
For starters, SpaceX might deploy batches of Starlink satellites far more quickly and create the fabled megaconstellation that can carry broadband web to each nook of the world. It might additionally fulfill Musk’s plan to supply intercontinental business flights right here at house, giving vacationers the power to fly midway around the globe in lower than an hour.
The flexibility to launch Starships with such fast turnaround may even facilitate SpaceX’s purpose of creating common journeys to the Moon. As per their contractual obligations with NASA – by means of the Cargo Transportation and Touchdown by Delicate Landing (CATALYST) program – SpaceX can be sending cargo and crews to the Moon in assist of Undertaking Artemis.
As with each radical new concept, followers and critics of Musk alike can be ready for updates on this newest proposal!
Additional Studying: Gizmodo