Watch this mind-blowing concept designed to catch SpaceX Starships & its superheavy boosters to bring humanity to Mars
Back in March, SpaceX filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to build a 469-ft tall steel launch tower for its Starship rocket in Texas that will catch the super-heavy booster when landing.
A month later, Elon Musk later shared the catching system concept on Twitter. In a response to Pranay Pathole’s tweet, Musk said: “Starship booster, largest flying object ever designed, will be caught out of sky by launch tower. Big step forward, as reflight can be done in under an hour.”
Starship booster, largest flying object ever designed, will be caught out of sky by launch tower. Big step forward, as reflight can be done in under an hour.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 7, 2021
Now, one tiny startup is taking Musk’s catching system concept to the next level. In its “Happy Birthday” message to Musk, SmallStars shared a clip of a catching system designed to help SpaceX bring Humanity to Mars. According to the startup, the conceptual catching system will work for both Starship & Superheavy, the lightweight system greatly increases margins for a successful catch.
Below is a video of how the catching system concept would work.
Even though Elon Musk didn’t think it is a bad idea, others think the concept has a couple of problems. Below is how Mike Schlosser describes the problems with the catching system.
“Interesting concept. However you got a few problems. Aside from needing 2 towers your hooks need to be placed 180 degrees from each other.
So they will definitely interfere with the heat shield coz that will be more like 200 degrees around the windward side, maybe even more in front the aft fins to protect against over spill.
Also if you don’t hit dead center your ship might get into big trouble when the first hook engages while the other is still not.
My best guess is, they will not really land on the grid fins. When you look at the reinforcement of that ring section, that looks awfully weak if you wanna support the whole weight of the ship plus the impact from landing.
I would rather try to hover and orient the grid fins into a proper position, have two arms swinging in from either side and position them close to the booster and then pick the ship softly out of the air by raising the arms with one of the draw works. Arms and draw works can be positioned much more precisely than the ship could ever do with its engines and you could minimize the impact close to zero.”
Do you think this is a crazy concept? Please share your thoughts on improving the catching system idea with the SmallStars team.