SpaceX installs robotic arms to the Starship launch tower at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida

SpaceX installs robotic arms to the Starship launch tower at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Featured Image Source: Courtesy of Greg Scott @GregScott_photo via Twitter

SpaceX founder Elon Musk envisions a future where humanity is a multiplanetary species, capable of frequent space flights between Earth and Mars. This grand ambition will require a fully-reusable Starship launch system. SpaceX engineers are working around-the-clock to develop Starship at the Starbase facility located in Boca Chica Beach, Texas. Starbase already has a rocket-ship manufacturing facility, as well as a 469-foot-high launch tower to support orbital Starship flights. Engineers are preparing to perform the first-ever orbital Starship flight test as soon as March, pending a spaceflight license from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

SpaceX is working to build a second Starship launch tower at the NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA awarded SpaceX a contract to develop a lunar-optimized Starship Human Landing System (HLS) to land astronauts on the Moon as part of the Artemis program that aims to build a permanent lunar base. SpaceX has made significant progress with building an orbital Starship launch tower next to the Falcon 9 launch pad at historic Launch Complex-39A. Photographer Greg Scott @GregScott_photo shared photographs via Twitter, shown below. It is the same launch complex from where NASA's Apollo astronauts last lifted up to the Moon. 

The company has been building the Florida Starship launch tower for a little over a year. SpaceX builders started to install the robotic arms to the launch tower in December 2022. These large arms are designed to grab Starship and the Super Heavy rocket to lift them up onto the launch mount. The robotic arms are also designed to ‘catch’ the rocket and spacecraft as each descends from the sky down to the launch pad. Musk nicknamed the launch towers “Mechazilla,” in reference to the ‘Mechagodzilla’ character from the ‘Godzilla’ film franchise. He has also jokingly referred to the launch tower’s arms as “chopsticks.” A video of the Starbase Mechazilla stacking Starship atop Super Heavy is linked below.  

In June 2022, Musk shared a slideshow presentation about the company's goals that features renderings of how future Starship factories and launch sites will look like. The facilities look futuristic with glass walls and giant vehicle assembly buildings for Starship, pictured below. Some of these structures are expected to be built at KSC before NASA launches the Artemis astronauts to the Moon in 2025. Read more: NASA outlines how the SLS Orion & SpaceX Starship will land Artemis III astronauts on the Lunar South Pole

Image Source: SpaceX 


Check out more of Photographer Greg Scott's work on Twitter!  


》 Author's note: Thanks for reading If you have any story suggestions or feedback, feel free to Direct Message me on Twitter: Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo @JaneidyEve Or write your thoughts in the comment section below. Read my most recent stories here: Recent News Stories 《   

Featured Image Source: Courtesy of Greg Scott @GregScott_photo via Twitter

About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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