Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

SpaceX’s Starship booster-catching ‘launch tower’ begins to take shape in Texas

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Aerial photos show that SpaceX has rapidly begun building the first of two planned skyscraper-sized Starship ‘launch towers’ in South Texas – towers that could one day catch the Super Heavy boosters out of the air with huge arms.

CEO Elon Musk first revealed that outlandish Starship booster recovery plan around the turn of the year, followed three months later by an even wilder claim that the same booster-catching tower could also catch Starships. Around the time the idea was first floated, SpaceX was beginning to build one of two planned towers that might be outfitted with arms in the future. Progress was mostly invisible at first, hinted at only by the presence of a self-propelled drill and a few muddy holes in the right spot.

By mid-March, SpaceX had begun clearing away some of the dirt on top, revealing a beefy foundation with 25 two-foot-thick (~1m) piles buried at least 100 ft (30m) deep in the sandy wetlands. Two weeks later, the foundation has been encased in concrete and the framework for massive base is nearly ready for its first concrete pour.

In other words, SpaceX’s first South Texas launch tower has just begun to take shape and grow vertically. First and foremost, its purpose is to provide an extremely sturdy base with which SpaceX can install Super Heavy boosters on the launch mount and then install Starships on top of those boosters. Standing at least 122 meters (~395 ft) tall from tip to tail without even accounting for the launch mount/stand Starship will attach to, that seemingly simple task ends up being not so simple at all.

Situated less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico, Boca Chica is typically an extremely windy environment at sea level – let alone hundreds of feet above ground – and the South Texas coast is almost constantly at risk of torrential rain, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and flooding. As far as building giant, sturdy towers and performing work as sensitive and precise as vertically mating rocket stages, it’s hard to imagine a viable launch site with less favorable conditions short of Siberia or the Russian steppe.

According to Musk, SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch tower will have a “hook height” (the distance from the crane hook to the ground) of at least 140m (~460 ft), meaning that the top of the tower’s crane will likely be 150-160m (490-520 ft) tall when configured to mate Starship to Super Heavy.

Beyond those general details and the occasional official SpaceX render of possible launch facilities, not much else is known about how Boca Chica’s launch tower will look and function, particularly with respect to vague plans to catch Super Heavy boosters. However, SpaceX appears to have aggressively turned its attention to building out Boca Chica’s first orbital launch facilities and the progress made in the last two months suggests that it wont be long before what was recently a dirt apron will be ready to support Starship and Super Heavy testing.

Starship’s orbital launch site, January 31st, 2021. (NASASpaceflight – bocachicagal)

The same orbital launch site less than 50 days later. (RGV Aerial Photography)

According to Musk, SpaceX’s internal goal is to attempt Starship and Super Heavy’s first orbital launch as early as July 2021. If the company continues to work around the clock on rocket’s orbital launch site as it has for the last two months, it’s far from inconceivable that the pad will be ready for that orbital launch debut even if Starship is not. Stay tuned for more updates as the pad and launch tower continue to take shape.

The post SpaceX’s Starship booster-catching ‘launch tower’ begins to take shape in Texas appeared first on TESLARATI.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Load more ...




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.