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Jun 26, 2019

SpaceX Boat Snags Falling Payload Fairing in Historic First

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

Payload fairings protect satellites during launch and are jettisoned after rockets reach space. The fairings SpaceX uses for the Heavy and the company’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, which fall back to Earth in two pieces, cost about $6 million each, company founder and CEO Elon Musk has said.

There’s thus ample motivation to recover and reuse this expensive hardware. Indeed, SpaceX equips both fairing halves with parachutes and small steering thrusters, to bring the gear down softly and under control.

And that’s where Ms. Tree comes in: Snagging the fairing halves before they hit corrosive seawater makes reuse more feasible and cost effective, Musk has said.

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