SpaceX successfully catches Falcon Heavy rocket nose cone for first time

Clark Mindock
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SpaceX successfully catches Falcon Heavy rocket nose cone for first time

SpaceX has managed to recover the nose cone — or fairing — of its powerful Falcon Heavy rocket, after a year and a half of trial and error.The company was able to accomplish the feat using a giant net hoisted up behind a high speed boat, which dashed to catch the large piece of rocket that is designed to protect a rocket’s payload upon launch.Once the rocket begins to enter space, the nose cone breaks into two parts, and both of those fall to the earth. Capturing the large piece of rocket before it is damaged by salt water means that SpaceX can possibly use the equipment again in a launch — and therefore save a lot of money.“Imagine you had $6m in cash in a palette flying through the air, and it’s going to smash into the ocean,” Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, said last year during a press conference while discussing the effort to recover the nose cone. “Would you try to recover that? Yes. Yes, you would.”The efforts to catch the fairing began early last year, and includes the use of a huge net propped up on a boat named Ms Tree, formerly Mr Steven.> One of Mr. Steven’s final West Coast fairing recovery tests before shipping out for the East Coast. Wait for it… pic.twitter.com/A7q37Gpllu> > — SpaceX (@SpaceX) > > January 30, 2019

SpaceX has managed to recover the nose cone — or fairing — of its powerful Falcon Heavy rocket, after a year and a half of trial and error.

The company was able to accomplish the feat using a giant net hoisted up behind a high speed boat, which dashed to catch the large piece of rocket that is designed to protect a rocket’s payload upon launch.

Once the rocket begins to enter space, the nose cone breaks into two parts, and both of those fall to the earth. Capturing the large piece of rocket before it is damaged by salt water means that SpaceX can possibly use the equipment again in a launch — and therefore save a lot of money.

“Imagine you had $6m in cash in a palette flying through the air, and it’s going to smash into the ocean,” Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, said last year during a press conference while discussing the effort to recover the nose cone. “Would you try to recover that? Yes. Yes, you would.”

The efforts to catch the fairing began early last year, and includes the use of a huge net propped up on a boat named Ms Tree, formerly Mr Steven.