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SpaceX uses its giant robotic 'chopsticks' to lift a rocket booster

SpaceX has successfully used its Mechazilla launch tower at Starbase to place the Super Heavy Booster 7 on the orbital launchpad.

Published Jun 25, 2022 5:17 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Jul 19 2022 11:27 PM CDT

The Mechazilla tower at SpaceX's Starbase facility in Texas has finally been used for its intended purpose.

SpaceX's Super Heavy Booster 7, equipped with 33 Raptor engines, was transported across Starbase to the orbital launch pad where the 440-foot (134 meters) tall Mechazilla launch tower is located. This clip from NASASpaceFlight shows the moment when Mechazilla's two large robotic arms, dubbed" Chopsticks," were used to grab and lift SpaceX's Booster 7. The tower then rotated the booster around slowly, before placing it onto the launch pad.

Elon Musk has said that SpaceX's Starship will be ready to fly in July, now that Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) assessment of Starbase and Starship is complete. With Booster 7 in place, a full Starship stack assembly by placing the Starship spacecraft atop the booster won't be far off, creating an almost 400-foot (121.9 meters) tall stack, bringing SpaceX one step closer to its first and long-awaited orbital flight test.

"We will have a second Starship stack ready to fly in August and then monthly thereafter," said Musk.

SpaceX uses its giant robotic 'chopsticks' to lift a rocket booster 01 |
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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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