Watch SpaceX ‘Grab’ A Starship With Giant Robot Arms 

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SpaceX has used the pair of massive “chopsticks” on its 460-foot “Mechazilla” tower to grab its latest Starship prototype, which is called Ship 20. This will help in arranging the first test flight of the ship in the orbit.

The tower will function as a launchpad and a catching mechanism for Starship and its heavy launch system. The arms will clasp around either side of the roughly 400-foot Starship-and-booster stack during lift-off — and ensure each of their safe arrivals once they’ve returned.

A time-lapse was shared by NASASpaceFlight‘s Michael Baylor that shows engineers slowly hooking the chopsticks to the heat shield tile-covered spacecraft.

SpaceX Works Around The Clock On Starship Orbital Launch Tower

“It’s chopstick time!” Baylor wrote.

People are expecting that SpaceX will attempt to stack the prototype on top of its orbital-class Super Heavy booster which is named Booster 4 later today using the chopsticks as a lift.

Last week, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated that he will give a long-anticipated update on Starship on Thursday, which will also have a full-stack.

It’s also worth pointing out that carefully attaching the launch stack to the robot arms is not enough or close to catching a huge spacecraft as it touches down.

Last month, SpaceX moved the giant catching arms for the first time. Since then, engineers have been stress-testing the mechanism by hanging ballasts in the form of massive bags of water from the chopsticks.

If the tests end up being successful, SpaceX could be launching its Starship spacecraft into orbit for the very first time. However, the amount of Raptor rocket engines and an orbital-class Super Heavy booster having 29 engines alone poses the risk of yet another explosion.

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