Elon Musk will use chopsticks to catch the world's largest rocket

Elon Musk is planning on catching the largest and most powerful rocket ever created with a 480 foot tower that's equipped with big chopsticks.

1 minute & 36 seconds read time

SpaceX is closing in on the fifth launch of Starship, the world's largest and most powerful rocket that has ever taken to the skies.

The fifth launch of the rocket will mark a monumental milestone in Elon Musk's quest to create a rapidly reusable rocket capable of traveling to Mars, and it will likely be the riskiest flight Starship has undertaken yet. Starship recently completed its fourth test flight, where SpaceX successfully recovered both Starship and its booster, Super Heavy, after they splashed down in the ocean. The next step in reaching Mars is to get Super Heavy to land back on land.

Unlike SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, which can autonomously land back on a launch pad, SpaceX plans on catching Super Heavy with an enormous tower that has arms attached to it. Previously, it was reported that these arms were referred to as "chopsticks" and that they would be used to catch Super Heavy upon its descent to reduce ground impact and increase reusability.

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SpaceX began construction of the massive tower called the "Mechazilla Tower" in 2021, and according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the company is aiming to attempt the catch in July. Musk previously said the delay between launches is to give time for improvements to be made to Starship's design, particularly its heat shield, which is a vital component that protects the ship during reentry.

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"It is designed to support launch, vehicle integration, and catch of the Super Heavy rocket booster. Catching the booster reduces mass from the launch vehicle, moves hardware complexity to the ground, and enables rapid reuse of the rocket. Following liftoff, and after the two stages separate in-flight, Super Heavy will return to the launch site, reignite its engines to slow the vehicle down, and the tower's arms will catch the rocket booster before re-stacking it on the orbital launch mount for its next flight," states SpaceX on its website

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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, space, and artificial intelligence 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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