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Watch Mechazilla Chopsticks lift Starship Super Heavy Booster 7 with 33 Raptor engines onto the launch mount


Starbase Boca Chia, Texas — SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared a photo of Mechazilla holding the Super Heavy Booster 7 (Starship rocket prototype) in mid-air in preparation for mounting it on the orbital launch pad.

The prototypes currently under testing are Starship 24 and Booster 7. SpaceX has installed 33 Raptor V2 engines under Booster 7 for a possible static fire test in the coming weeks.

This is the 2nd time SpaceX has attempted to lift the Super Heavy Booster yesterday (23rd August 2022) using the Mechazilla Chopsticks.

Back in February, SpaceX used the Mechazilla launch integration tower Chopsticks to fully stack the Starship SN20 and Booster 4 prototypes on the launch pad.

Starbase launch integration tower Mechazilla Chopsticks lift the Super Heavy Booster 7 for mounting onto the pad. Another Starship prototype can be seen in the background. Credit: Elon Musk / SpaceX via Twitter.

Super Heavy is the tallest rocket booster in the world with a height of 230 ft (69 meters). With 33 Raptor V2 engines installed at the aft section, this is probably the heaviest rocket in the world as well.

With 33 Raptors, Booster 7 has the most engines of any of its predecessor prototypes. Booster 4 had 29 Raptor V1 rocket engines when it was mounted on the launch pad last year.

Local observers from recorded the entire ordeal when the Chopsticks started lifting Booster 7 from the ground and mounting it on the launch pad. I checked the video timeline to look for how long it took for Super Heavy Booster 7 to be fully rested on the launch pad — it took around ~45 minutes for the entire process to be completed — slow and easy is the key here (timelapse video below).

Placing the Super Heavy booster onto the launch pad using the Chopsticks didn’t require any human or other machine guidance for a proper mount and engines to be fitted correctly.

In June, SpaceX got the green light from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to perform orbital launches from the Starbase Boca Chica launch site.

The first orbital flight test of a Starship has long been due, FAA approval has been one of the main reasons for the delay. But now it seems that SpaceX will be able to do it in the coming months if not weeks at least.

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Video: Timelapse of the entire procedure of mounting the Starship Super Heavy Rocket booster on the Starbase Boca Chica launch pad.



By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii

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