SpaceX's robodog "Zeus" is on patrol.
SpaceX came closer than ever before to a successful Starship test launch on Wednesday evening, just to see the SN10 prototype explode in a gigantic fireball minutes after an otherwise-successful landing.
A day later, SpaceX is still in cleanup mode, with teams of workers retrieving various rocket parts and picking up after the explosion. But the company also got a helping hand from Zeus, SpaceX's Boston Dynamics robodog, which Ars Technica photographer Trevor Mahlmann spotted on the scene, surveying the explosion site.
Hi Zeus!!! (Round 2) pic.twitter.com/LKvFtOXlLR
— 📸Trevor Mahlmann (@TrevorMahlmann) March 4, 2021
SpaceX has previously used the $75,000 robot dog to inspect test sites or other areas that aren't safe for humans, according to SpaceExplored.
Zeus can safely check on gas leaks or other hazards, especially those related to SpaceX's slew of exploded Starship prototypes, and has been rewarded with its own doghouse near the Boca Chica, Texas launch pad.
SpaceX has installed a doghouse for their robotic companion ‘Zeus’. pic.twitter.com/Kmk1sUK8Ma
— Coop (@Cooper_Hime) June 17, 2020
Last week, Zeus was spotted bounding around the SpaceX landing pad, though it's not clear exactly what it was up to.
But presumably it's a bit busier this time around, as it sniffs around the explosion to help SpaceX make sense of what went wrong and how to pick up the pieces.
Zeus, one of SpaceX’s robo-dogs from @BostonDynamics, just went out for quick landing pad inspection. Neat. @NASASpaceflight pic.twitter.com/XYIr7fys4k
— Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) February 24, 2021
More on the SN10 launch: SpaceX’s Third Starship Prototype Lands, Explodes Minutes Later