It looks like Boston Dynamics' robot dog Spot has been adopted by SpaceX, and now named "Zeus", the man's best friend might accompany us to Mars and beyond.
Footage of the robot dog running around the Starship test site has surfaced for the first time, published by LabPadre YouTube channel who documents SpaceX' Boca Chica facility.
Cryogenic pressure test on Starship dome tank prototype
On June 23, SpaceX teams were conducting a cryogenic pressure test on the Starship SN7 dome tank prototype, which serves as a manufacturing pathfinder towards developing the craft to its final stage.
The aim of the test was to determine if 304L stainless-steel was stronger than 301 stainless-steel since Starship must be able to face a pressure strength of 8.6 bar to carry astronauts.
The catastrophic collapse
Amid testing, SN7 was filled with sub-cooled liquid nitrogen and deliberately pressurized to the maximum which made it pop and collapse on its side. The catastrophic rupture can be seen in the video below.
A South Texas resident, LabPadre, captured the dome tank pressure test, and some people out there with keen eyes were quick to spot the robot dog Spot.
Public spotted the robot dog Spot
Named 'Zeus' by SpaceX, the robotic dog was captured marching on the launchpad to inspect the potentially dangerous site. If you look closely, you can see the robot dog through the clouds of nitrogen.
This is one prime example of Boston Dynamics' robot dog Spot in use. Since the four-legged metal robot can go where humans can't roam, it is especially perfect for collecting data from the Starship rocket prototype tests, sites with potential gas leaks, or other harsh environments not considered safe for people and more.
The most expensive dog money can buy
The robot officially went on sale to the general public last week, and SpaceX was quick to acquire one. It is most probably the most expensive dog money can buy, with the price point of $74,500 to well over $100,000 with add-ons including LiDar, panoramic color cameras, and pan-tilt-zoom cameras.
It is safe to assume that 'Zeus' will be accompanying SpaceX with its 360° panoramic cameras, noise anomaly detection, thermal inspection, and leak detection during important tests.
Dog house at the launchpad
Probably the best part of the news is SpaceX setting up a little red house at the Boca Chica launchpad.
On June 14, reporters had spotted the dog house with the name 'Zeus' above its opening, and now that the speculations have been answered, it is exciting to think about a pack of Spots accompanying the astronauts in their voyage to the other planets.
SpaceX has installed a doghouse for their robotic companion ‘Zeus’. pic.twitter.com/Kmk1sUK8Ma— Coop (@Cooper_Hime) June 17, 2020