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Elon Musk used his 'chopsticks' to pick up its latest rocket booster

Elon Musk's SpaceX used Mechazilla and its 'chopsticks' to pick up the company's latest booster in preparation for a coming test.

@JakConnorTT
Published Jun 29, 2022 12:32 AM CDT   |   Updated Sat, Jul 23 2022 2:48 PM CDT

SpaceX is moving forward with its preparations for Starship's first orbital test flight, following the environmental report recently conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA recently evaluated the environmental impact of SpaceX conducting orbital launches of its Starship launch vehicle in its Texas test site, and according to the regulators' recently released report, Elon Musk's vehicle and launch site were found to have "Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI)". However, the FAA did give SpaceX many requests to prevent any future environmental impact and also put a cap on the number of launches SpaceX can conduct per year - five orbital launches and five suborbital launches.

With that review by the FAA now out of the way, Elon Musk and SpaceX can move forward with getting everything in order to perform Starship's first orbital test flight, which, when achieved, will be a monumental milestone for the company and another big step on the road to getting a consistent human presence on the Mars and the moon. On June 23 SpaceX was spotted rolling out Super Heavy Booster 7 to the orbital launch site, and according to reports from NASASpaceFlight, the booster sported 33 Raptor 2 engines.

Read more: US regulator halts Elon Musk launching Starship, demands major changes

Notably, the publication writes that Super Heavy Booster 7 has been outfitted with its final configurations with SpaceX engineers adding the grid fins, heat and debris shields, and more. Furthermore, Booster 7 has already achieved a milestone as it's the first time the Launch Tower arms, or Megazilla's "chopsticks", according to Musk, have been used.

Elon Musk used his 'chopsticks' to pick up its latest rocket booster 01 | TweakTown.com
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Elon Musk has indicated that Starship could perform its first orbital test flight in July, and if the coming static fire test campaign doesn't present any more issues, that timeline could line up. However, and as NASASpaceFlight notes, usually, the testing leading up to the launch date reveals new issues that result in the launch date being pushed back a few days. Regardless of if the orbital test launch is next month, Starship's development journey is nearing its completion, and a new way to access space is just around the corner.

Elon Musk used his 'chopsticks' to pick up its latest rocket booster 02 | TweakTown.com
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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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