X marks the spot

X marks the spot, SpaceX floating landing platform and grid fins

Landing platform

It was already mentioned by SpaceX officials that SpaceX’s next landing attempt of Falcon-9’s first stage will be on a barge. Well it’s not a barge. It’s an autonomous spaceport drone ship, with trusters that are repurposed from deep sea oil drilling rigs that’ll hold the platform’s position with a 3 meter accuracy.

Photo credits: SpaceX

 

The base of the whole ship is about 100 meter (300 feet) by 30 meters (100 feet) with wings that extend the platform to about 50 meters (170 feet). The platform is for landing just now, but it will allow for refuel and flyback to the launch site in the future.

Grid fins

SpaceX will also test there new hypersonic grid fins on the next flight. These fins are mounted near the top of the first stage. These four fins are stowed away while the rocket ascends and deployed on reentry. Each fin can move independently and is designed for accurate pitch, yaw and roll control of the first stage.

 

Photo credits: Spacex

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