SpaceX seems to have bought itself a new toy, according to a viral picture of the piece of machinery being sent down the German Autobahn highway this week.
It seemed that the machinery was being taken from Austria to Hamburg, Germany or Rotterdam in The Netherlands. It looked like a pair of enormous tank treads with a logo of SpaceX.
After much speculation about spacecraft vehicles on Twitter, NASASpaceFlight editor Chris Bergin clarified that SpaceX bought a giant construction vehicle known as the crawler crane from Liebherr, a construction equipment manufacturer. As per the details, the track is moving to Texas and will be used in SpaceX’s facility at Boca Chica.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, later confirming the purchase, tweeted: “Our new crane!”
We hope this isn’t just another Elon Musk’s joke. But, maybe his time, he’s really serious about it. In Texas, SpaceX already uses massive construction cranes to help manufacture structures for its gigantic rockets.
Ironically, when one of Musk’s construction sites crossed, the driver carrying the crawler crane’s track to the port could’ve waved hi. In August, Musk visited his Tesla Gigafactory site in Germany, where Tesla is facing delays in bringing the new manufacturing site on a stream, Reuters reported.
The factory is currently slated to open toward the end of this year, but a pending environmental review may push it into next year. Thankfully, progress in Texas is going a bit more smoothly.
The factory is now set to open by the end of the year; however, it might get delayed to next year due to pending environmental assessment. Fortunately, progress is smoother in Texas.