Overcoming obstacles that hinder the return of rockets and spacecraft to Earth after their pilgrimages is a challenge that companies in the field face constantly – and Elon Musk is committed to bringing innovative solutions to the topic in the future. practice. In a Twitter post, the billionaire released an initiative that at first seems incredible: he plans to use SpaceX to capture equipment that is still in the air with launch pads.
The technology for this isn’t that far off, he says; however, it takes courage to run tests that, if fail, would waste astronomical values. After all, even if all equipment is light and efficient, in addition to frightening speeds, it involves volatile liquids and high pressures. That means that a lot can go wrong.
The first device to be seized is expected to be a Super Heavy rocket, with likely 28 Raptor engines, which use stage combustion cycles. While there are no in-depth details regarding the experiment, the Falcon 9, also from the company, has, for comparison, four large carbon fiber and aluminum landing legs, which stabilize the vehicle when it hits the ground and whose mass is about 2 tons .
Such parts in the Super Heavy should probably be several times larger, perhaps on the order of 5 to 10 tons. Great powers come with great responsibilities, Ben Parker said.
Insane? Who knows?
In any case, these concerns would be totally disregarded if a few functional ‘arms’ were part of the launch towers, and this is the goal of Elon Musk – who, with the necessary studies, plans to optimize even the reboot time . of missiles. Once inspected and refueled, it would take only an hour to get back into action.
The differential to make everything possible can be right in the set of motors, allowing the device to float almost above the platform, leaving enough margin for ground operations to move components and hold everything.