SpaceX Builds Rocket Recovery Robot Named ‘Optimus Prime’

(Shutterstock/Wasan Ritthawon)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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The internet is loving a mysterious robot spotted on a barge SpaceX plans to use to recover rockets.

There’s no official name for the robot, but SpaceX told Florida Today “we’ll let Reddit name it for us.” Redditors have called the robot “Optimus Prime” after the iconic autobot leader from the “Transformers” series.

SpaceX plans to use Optimus Prime to cut down on costs, improve safety and slash turnaround time between launches.

Optimus Prime is expected to take part on the company’s next mission, which launches from Kennedy Space Center on March 29.

That launch will mark the first time SpaceX flies a used or “flight proven” rocket. One year ago, the rocket took part in a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Musk’s SpaceX has been competing with another company called Blue Origin to develop the first fully reusable rocket. Blue Origin successfully landed the first reusable rocket after officially going to space in November and has repeated the feat four times.

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