Elon Musk Shows Off SpaceX’s New ‘X-Wing’ Rocket, Sea Drone Landing Platform

Giuseppe Macri Tech Editor
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Elon Musk debuted some of SpaceX’s latest space-age advancements via Twitter over the weekend, including new wings to steer its vertical-landing, reusable Falcon 9 rocket and a floating drone landing platform, where rockets will land and refuel before launching back into space.

According to Musk, the “autonomous spaceport drone ship” uses repurposed thrusters from deep-sea oil rigs to maintain a target position within three meters (about 10 feet) — even in rough waters — to capture incoming Falcon 9 rockets.

The Falcon 9 will now be guided back down with the help of new “x-wing” hypersonic flight grid fins, which will deploy for re-entry and move independently to control pitch, yaw and roll, as seen in the video below of a test conducted earlier this year.


Musk said the fins will be used by SpaceX’s next flight on Dec. 16, which will carry a Dragon cargo vehicle with supplies to the International Space Station.

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