BocaChicaGal/NASA Spaceflight via YouTube
Playing Catch

SpaceX Finally Installs “Robot Chopsticks” to Catch Super Heavy Booster

byTony Tran
Oct 21
BocaChicaGal/NASA Spaceflight via YouTube

They're enormous.

Robot Chopsticks

After much anticipation, SpaceX has finally installed its “robot chopstickson the Super Heavy booster launch tower.

The chopsticks are actually a set of massive arms that will be used to recover the giant Super Heavy booster as it lands, catching it as it comes back down to Earth. While SpaceX founder Elon Musk initially announced the catch arms back in December 2020, it wasn’t until Tuesday that the company was able to assemble the chopsticks and place them on the launch assembly. 

You can check out a full video of its assembly below courtesy of NASASpaceFlight:

Catch and Release

The arms are a part of “Mechazilla,” Musk’s nickname for the launch structure. He also said that the robot chopsticks would be used to catch Starship as well, which would give it a very prominent role at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility. 

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“We’re going to try to catch the Super Heavy booster with the launch tower arm, using the grid fins to take the load,” Musk tweeted last year.

It’s going to be interesting to see how — and if — the system works. If they can pull it off, it’ll add another captivating element to the company’s already unbelievable rocket landings

More on the SpaceX launch site: SpaceX Opponents Complain About Falling Debris, Fires in FAA Meeting


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