How SpaceX Transports Its Rockets


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How SpaceX Transports Its Rockets



Elon Musk’s impressive celestial side hustle makes headlines almost every day, whether for yeeting commercial payloads into orbit or spectacularly fluffing Starship landings. Still there’s an aspect to his operation which all-too frequently gets overlooked, even by Musk’s vast army of international followers. Yes, although the ins and outs of SpaceX launches are obsessively pored over by the faithful, the actual humdrum business of getting rockets to the launch pad isn’t dwelt upon nearly enough.

So we thought we’d investigate. Join us now as we pull up to the launchpad and initiate a countdown sequence for a look at how SpaceX transports its rockets.

Before we get to the exciting, cutting-edge Starship programme, let’s look at how the company’s Falcon 9 rockets have traditionally been shunted around. Falcon 9 is after all the workhorse of the entire SpaceX operation, launching a record 26 successful missions in 2020 alone. Indeed, it’s probably fair to say Falcon 9’s quiet competence single-handedly keeps the company solvent, and soothes the jangled nerves of investors who might otherwise be freaked out by footage of Starship’s less-than-stellar recent touchdowns.

How SpaceX Transports Its Rockets

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Imagery supplied via Getty Images

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22 Comments

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  1. Perhaps dedicated rail lines between building facilities to launch sites would be a better option. However, building road systems that can accommodate such large and heavy hauling requirements is good infrastructure spending which benefits the economy over the long term. Its a win-win.

  2. How easy to pick bits of the internet and make your video without facts checking, living 3 miles from KSC gates and In Merritt island from more than 3 decades I can tell you some of your stuff is dead wrong.

  3. I know you said "a better way to move rocket's on the ground" but if they could actually fly it up in to low orbit, then land it at Florida or Texas, that would save so much time and money.

  4. Transporting a Falcon 9 with a 44-wheeled trailer is a special type of transport with many requirements imposed by the authorities. The rocket could be better transported by train. Very long rotors for wind turbines and entire hulls of the B737 travel by train to final assembly. Parts of the Space Shuttel Booster were also delivered by train, which means there is a rail connection.