In an ambitious move, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Thursday said the company will aim to recover the Super Heavy Booster by catching it with the launch tower itself, giving reusable rocket boosters a new lease of life.
Current Falcon 9 boosters return to Earth and land on their own built-in legs.
The future goal is not to have landing legs at all but to catch the boosters in air.
“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 said in a tweet.
“Legs would certainly work, but best part is no part, best step is no step,” he added.
According to Musk, this move could allow SpaceX to recycle the Super Heavy booster immediately back on the launch mount in “under an hour.”
The Super Heavy Booster is currently in development.
The aims for SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy Booster is to create a launch vehicle that’s even more reusable than SpaceX’s current Falcon 9.
Starship prototypes are currently being constructed and tested in Boca Chica, Texas.
Musk-run SpaceX will start flight testing its Super Heavy booster (starting with low-altitude “hops”) in a few months from now.
Super Heavy booster will be used to fly Starship for orbital launches and deeper space missions, including Mars.
Musk said last week that the first Super Heavy hop is just “a few months” away.
The SpaceX CEO and founder said the company will use both of its two launch pads in Boca Chica, Texas with prototype rockets set up on each.
SpaceX recently set up its SN9 prototype of Starship at its Texas testing facility.
Meanwhile, Super Heavy will be nearly 240 feet tall and include 28 Raptor engines.