Space X to Convert Starship to a Helicopter

Space X to Convert Starship to a Helicopter

Hawthorne, CA-Following the success of Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL)'s Ingenuity helicopter, Space X has announced that Starship will be converted to land with a spinning rotor. The decision comes to light after numerous failed attempts at landing using conventional rocket propulsion and proof that a helicopter can work on the thin atmosphere of Mars and other worlds. Space X claims that their new Starship design will be much safer and easier to land without requiring the Raptor engines to relight.

While specific details are unknown, the design will likely use thrusters similar to the RCS system on the end of the rotors to spin them reducing rotation on the spacecraft. According to a Space X spokesperson, they have also purchased the Rotary Rocket Company's prototype to use as a testbed. In a statement by CEO Elon Musk: "We are happy to see JPL's success in flying a helicopter on Mars. This will allow us to change the design of Starship and accommodate an easier aerodynamic landing. SN16 will be built with this new design." SN16 will likely be used to test new methods of executing the iconic belly flop and flip maneuver.

Helicopter Starship in flight.

The HLS version of Starship will not be affected by this new design change and will continue to use the traditional, rocket-propelled landing. Regular Starships will also support a rocket landing on planets and moons without an atmosphere such as Mercury, the Moon, and Phobos.