Rigging in Space | SpaceX Uses Crosby 

Rigging in Space: SpaceX Uses Crosby 

Rocket science—Pushing the boundaries between new technology and old technology.

Whether you’re familiar with the ins and outs of rocket science or not, you probably have some idea of its complexity. Rocket science has even become slang for anything overly complex, detailed or confusing—With “It’s not rocket science” becoming a popular way of saying that something isn’t very complex.

But, did you know that even the rocket science industry depends on rigging hardware and technology in order to successfully see their work come to life?

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s Company, has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It’s the only private company that has returned a spacecraft from low Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in 2010. The company made history again in 2012 when their Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.

Even a record-breaking company like SpaceX relies on the tried and true technology of rigging. Crosby wide body shackles were used on the recent SpaceX Starship lift near Brownsville, TX, to join the two halves of the spacecraft together.

SpaceX operates the world’s only operational reusable orbital-class rockets and spacecraft designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Once complete, this star-ship will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed. It will have the ability to carry in excess of 100 metric tonnes into Earth’s orbit.

Unfortunately that prototype, the Starship MK1, partially exploded during a pressurized test conducted by the SpaceX team late last month. It erupted at its tip, sending vapor and shrapnel flying into the air—You can check out the explosion here, captured on YouTube.

However, as stated by SpaceX a few hours following the test, “The purpose of today’s test was to pressurize systems to the max, so the outcome was not completely unexpected…There were no injuries, nor is this a serious setback.”

They’re wasting no time jumping into the next model, the Mk3, so there will surely be lots of record-breaking updates to come in this saga of futuristic space exploration!


Nobody knows what the future of space exploration holds—But something we can always be sure about is Crosby. The Crosby brand has been trusted for more than 130 years as the world’s leading manufacturer for rigging, lifting, and material handling applications.

Crosby delivers the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of products, engineered to exceed the toughest demands—Even when faced with lifting a SPACESHIP!

Hercules SLR is proud to be an Authorized Crosby Distributor and a Certified Crosby Repair Center. See your Crosby gear from purchase, all the way to service with Hercules SLR’s extensive product selection, inspection & service team, asset management, testing and more.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Crosby Guest Blog: Shackle Inspection & Care

crosby shackles

CROSBY SHACKLES 

Crosby shackles are a popular option for lifting applications. Time-tested and work proven, Crosby has made their mark in rigging—they’ve produced the first wire rope clip, quench and temper fittings (this makes performance more reliable) and were the first to fatigue-rate products. Their shackles are particularly popular – read on to learn more about Crosby shackles and how to use them safely, a handy interactive inspection checklist and more tips for best use. 

CROSBY SHACKLES: 3 MAIN SHACKLE TYPES

Round pin shackles can be used for lifting applications and others like tie down, towing or suspension applications when the load’s strictly applied in-line.

Screw pin shackles are used for pick and place applications. Pick and place applications are when a load is moved to its desired location, and the screw pin is tightened before each pick.

Bolt-type shackles can be used in any applications that round pin or screw pin shackles are used. They’re also great for long-term or permanent installations where the load may slide on the pin, which causes it to rotate. The other way to secure a shackle includes using a nut and cotter, which eliminates the need for you to tighten the pin before each lift or movement. 

CROSBY SHACKLES: USE THEM SAFELY  

Before you put your Crosby shackle in service, make sure your shackle’s in good condition. To do so, look for these conditions:

  • The shackle’s pin works freely and fits correctly. 
  • The pins are undamaged, have no considerable wear and fit properly from the opposite side of the shackle. 
  • The load line and jaw opening are aligned.
  • The pin is always seated and is ‘matched’ to the body.
  • The shackle is the right material, size and type for the proposed lift.
  • Shackles are stored in a dry, cool place.

CROSBY SHACKLES: INSPECTION 

It’s important to inspect your rigging equipment frequently. Ideally, this happens before use, during (check for points of stress or tension during use) and after use. Inspection is important to prevent equipment failure, which can lead to damaging the load entirely, or worse—injure or kill workers’. 

Check your shackle before use. If any of these conditions are present, remove your shackle from service and have it inspected, repaired or replaced. 

  • The shackle’s jaws or pins are distorted.
  • The shackle isn’t stamped with is safe-working load (SWL).
  • The shackle is home-made (never use homemade shackles).
  • The shackle’s pin does not work freely, or fit correctly in the shackle’s opening. 
  • The pins’ threads are damaged, worn down or don’t easily screw in from the opposite side of the shackle. 
  • The unthreaded hole is enlarged – a hole too big places unnecessary strain on the loaded shackle. 
  • The shackle has wear that’s reduced its diameter by more than 8% of its original diameter. To test for cracks that may be hidden, tap them with a hammer. A shackle in good-condition should ‘ring’ clearly.
  • The shackle’s pin has been replaced, especially if it’s been replaced with anything but a pin. 

CROSBY SHACKLES: USE THEM SAFELY OR NOT AT ALL 

There are a few things to keep in mind when using shackles for securing and lifting applications. 

  • When you use shackles in conjunction with multi-leg slings, you must give consideration to the angle between the legs of the sling. 
  • As the angle increases, so does the load in the sling leg, and as a consequence, any shackle attached to the leg. 
  • Try to avoid erratic loading of the shackle – to do this, place a loose spacer on either end of the shackle’s pin, or use a shackle with a smaller jaw. 
  • If using a shackle to secure the top block of a rope block set, the load on the shackle is increased by the value of the hoisting effort. 
  • Take care to make sure the shackle and assembly above the hook is the right capacity. 
  • It’s important that on shackles fitted with a nut and bolt pin, the length of the bolt’s plain portion will cause the nut to jam on the inner end of the thread, and not on the shackle’s eye. This leaves the bolt free to rotate.
  • Be sure the bolt and nut are cross-drilled for the fitting of a split cotter pin. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CROSBY PRODUCTS,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

CROSBY QUIZ: CAN YOU PASS THIS HOOK INSPECTION QUIZ?

GUEST BLOG: CROSBY TALKS FORGED WIRE ROPE CLIPS VS MALLEABLE CAST IRON CLIPS

RIGGING HARDWARE WE LOVE: CROSBY® 4-50 CLIP APPLICATIONS


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