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SpaceX Tests ‘Mechazilla,’ its Giant ‘Chopsticks’ Catching the Starship—For the First Time

SpaceX tested “Mechazilla,” which is basically a pair of giant “chopsticks” that seek to catch the Starship and its Super Heavy booster as it lands, for the first time ever.

(Photo : by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 15: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon lift-off from launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the first completely private mission to fly into orbit on September 15, 2021 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX is flying four private citizens into space on a three-day mission.

It comes after Teslarati reported last Oct. 21 that the space exploration firm of Elon Musk already started its installation of the “Mechazilla” arms on the tall Starship “launch tower” in Starbase, South Texas.

SpaceX Tests ‘Mechazilla’: Giant Starship-Catching ‘Chopsticks’

Now, as per the latest report by Futurism, SpaceX boasted its giant “Chopsticks,” which its founder and CEO, Musk, dubbed as the “Mechazilla” tower.

The massive “chopsticks” or the catch and stack arm system for the Starship seeks to grab the reusable spacecraft as it lands back to Earth.

The “Mechazilla” is the first of its kind as no other space exploration firm ever had the idea of catching their spacecraft via massive “chopsticks” as it lands back to Earth.

Last August, the SpaceX CEO first teased about the “Mechazilla”‘s ability to catch the Starship like it was a tiny piece of sushi.

Futurism further noted in the same report that such a “wild concept” could end up being a monumental disaster if it fails to catch the spacecraft of SpaceX.

That said, the space exploration firm is already testing the “Chopsticks” for the first time ever, which was streamed live via NASASpaceflight.

The first-ever test of the “Mechazilla” was seen swinging its arms to the left of the Starbase at around 6:30 AM on Oct 28, which proves that the “Chopsticks” is now alive.

The Starship catch/stack arm system “Chopsticks” came alive for the first time this morning, swinging to the left relative to the tower around 6:37 AM CDT.

This is the first of many motions we expect to see performed by the massive machinery.

via🖥️https://t.co/7zaTWf7AbI pic.twitter.com/1iwjhoyogM

— Kerbal Space Academy (@KSpaceAcademy) October 28, 2021

Read Also: SpaceX Launch Site: FAA Environmental Assessment, Jeff Bezos Meme, And Everything You Need to Know

SpaceX Mechazilla

“Mechazilla” is an integral part of the first attempt of SpaceX to launch the Starship to its initial orbital test flight.

On Oct. 6, SpaceX started the assembly of the three major components of the “Mechazilla,” such as the carriage-like structure, the tower’s QD arm, and its two giant arms.

And on Oct. 20, SpaceX completed the installation of the catch arms of the “Mechazilla” to the Starbase “launch tower” after its first failed attempt last Oct. 17.

Although Musk teased about the “Chopsticks” last Aug, the SpaceX exec did not elaborate on how it will catch both the Starship and the Super Heavy Rocket. Thankfully, a Twitter user that goes by the name “ErcXspace” shared a fan render on the social media giant, which Musk gamely responded to.

(Photo : by PHILIP PACHECO/AFP via Getty Images) SpaceX founder Elon Musk addresses members of the media during a press conference announcing new developments of the Crew Dragon reusable spacecraft, at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California on October 10, 2019.

The billionaire went on to tweet that the render was “pretty close”. However, Musk further noted that both the “booster and arms will move faster.”

Pretty close. Booster & arms will move faster. QD arm will steady booster for ship mate.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 13, 2021

Related Article: SpaceX Starship Payload: 250 Tons to Orbit As Expendable, 150 for Reusable Rocket Says Elon Musk

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Written by Teejay Boris

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