Chopsticks tested ahead of first Mechazilla stacking operation

Having conducted the first series of Mechazilla catch and stack systems tests, SpaceX’s Starship program has come one step closer to seeing another fully stacked Starship on the Orbital Launch Mount (OLM). Several tests were conducted with the chopsticks, paving the way for the first lift of a booster and a ship’s potential stacking following the previous full-stack operation conducted by a crane. Chopsticks Tested: Testing the chopsticks began the night of January 2, when they were raised a few feet before being lowered onto their resting blocks. This was the first time the chopsticks were moved vertically, with the only prior movement being when the chopsticks were rotated to not interfere with the OLM. Testing continued on January 4, when they were raised higher than previous tests. Each arm was rotated open individually over several hours, separately testing each significant system component for the first time. The next test conducted was what appeared to be an exercise of the entire Mechazilla system, using the chopsticks in a simulated lift a Starship to a full-stack height before swinging the Ship Quick Disconnect (QD) arm into place to stabilize the full stack. However, this time the arms did not…

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Chopsticks tested ahead of first Mechazilla stacking operation

Updated: January 15, 2022 — 9:26 am