SpaceX successfully catches Falcon Heavy rocket nose cone for first time
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.