Weekly Space Report: Booster catch testing!


  • Booster test article with hard points for catching on the launch mount for fun and games.

  • Old upright storage tanks demolition–only one left by publishing deadline.

  • Final set of tower two sections and its lifting arms on en route from Florida by barge.

  • Elon said tower two will be taller than tower one.

  • Ablative layer installation progress on Ship 30

  • Falcon Heavy GOES-U, both side boosters returned to launch site.

  • Starlink 10-2, 9-2, and 10-2 missions.

  • NROL-186 classified mission.

  • NASA awards ISS de-orbit to SpaceX

  • Starliner return delayed into July. ):

  • Chang’e 6 lunar farside sample returned

  • China casually drops a rocket booster into a populated area. Standard practice.


Somewhere or other, there was an animation of China’s plan for landing its (future) SpaceX-comparable reusable rocket. Essentially, there were 4 wires (2 pairs at right angles) set up like a tic-tac-toe grid inside a heavy-duty square gantry. As the rocket comes down inside the gantry, both pairs of wires would snap together to catch the descending rocket.

That seemed like a reasonable approach to the issue, providing a little more scope for minor landing inaccuracies and a little softer catch than the landing on hard points planned by SpaceX.

Let a thousand flowers bloom!

1 Like

A fairly dynamic static fire test:


SpaceX’s current highly proficient performance can make us forget that – not too many years ago – SpaceX faced similar problems. They even had to invent the term RUD – Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly. Back in the early days of rocketry, NASA had analogous problems. Rockets are difficult!

What the world needs now is … competition. Just as SpaceX has revealed the depth of incompetence, arrogance, and wastefulness at once justifiably-proud NASA, we want to see China & Russia & India & Brazil & New Zealand (yes, even them) all building rockets and preventing any one organization from holding back the future the way that NASA has done.

Sorry, I forgot France. They build rockets too, I have heard.


I agree. In spite of everything, I can’t see China as an enemy. They strive for civilization, not for chaos.

There was a chance to work with Russia in the 90s, but the West was drunk with power, it kicked Russia while it was down, and the results of that are Putin and the Progressive Left.

1 Like