SpaceX Catches Falling Reusable Nose Cone Fairing With Giant Net (Video)

SpaceX first successfully captured a reusable fairing in June. The company currently only has one net-wielding boat capable of catching the rockets, …

Following a slight delay, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket had a successful launch on Tuesday evening from Florida, shown in a video by SpaceX founder Elon Musk on Twitter.

Although the first stage was unable to be recovered due to mission requirements, Elon Musk said at least one fairing was captured by a recovery ship.

Since the historic launch of the SES-10 communications satellite 24 months ago, SpaceX has been attempting to make reusing rocket nose cone fairings a standard practice.

Just under two and a half years ago, SpaceX first reused a part of its Falcon 9 rocket.

The company has since launched previously flown Falcon 9 first stages over 24 times.

Rocket fairing falls from space & is caught by Ms Tree boat pic.twitter.com/nJv0Ry1iKk

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2019

​The video of the launch shows a boat with a large net attached to it floating on a dimly lit ocean surface.

The fairing drops gracefully down to earth and lands comfortably in the net.

Following the breaking away of the fairing once it reaches space, thrusters and a guidance system guide the pieces back to Earth.

Parachutes are then deployed to slow the descent.

The boat carrying a gigantic net, known as Ms Tree, breaks the fairing’s fall.

The idea behind the catching process is that it is more cost beneficial to reuse nose cones rather than simply let them fall away.

Russian space officials have since shifted from previously dismissing the financial benefits of a reusable rocket case to developing their own unique design bureau specifically for building reusable launch vehicles.

European scientists also rejected reusable rockets but are now building their own Falcon 9-like rocket.

The next Japanese rocket, following its new H3 booster, is likely to be reusable and China is scrambling to develop its own model similar to SpaceX.

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Watch SpaceX catch its rocket fairing in a massive net

Tweeting early on Sunday night, SpaceX boss Elon Musk posted a video of SpaceX’s net-equipped ship M. Tree perfectly positioning itself below the …

After a number of delays due to hardware issues as well as bad weather, SpaceX finally managed to send the AMOS-17 communications satellite into Earth orbit last night. The mission went well, with the SpaceX Falcon 9 completing its third mission, but due to the nature of this particular launch, it wasn’t possible for the company to recover its rocket stage a third time.

However, that didn’t stop SpaceX from recovering another valuable piece of its high-tech hardware. The nosecone fairing is something that the company has been trying to catch and reuse for some time, and it finally snagged one for the first time back in late June. Now, SpaceX has done it again, and we have video of the catch to prove it.

Tweeting early on Sunday night, SpaceX boss Elon Musk posted a video of SpaceX’s net-equipped ship M. Tree perfectly positioning itself below the slowly-descending nosecone, allowing it to gently fall into its huge net:

Rocket fairing falls from space & is caught by Ms Tree boat pic.twitter.com/nJv0Ry1iKk

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2019

SpaceX has spent many months trying to perfect the art of catching its rocket fairings, and it’s had no shortage of problems along the way. The awkward shape of the nosecone halves makes it hard to predict their path, and many failures shaped the design of the chute system that the fairings are now equipped with.

SpaceX’s reusable rocket technology has proven itself already, with the company sending many of the first stages of its Falcon 9s into space multiple times. Doing so can dramatically shorten the turnaround time between launches while also allowing the company to offer its services at a lower cost.

Catching and reusing its nosecones isn’t as big of a deal, but it can still help the company’s business model and potentially lower costs even further, but only if SpaceX can make a habit of catching them without issue.

Image Source: Terry Renna/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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Rocket Lab working on a reusable booster

Unlike SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which reignites its engines to land steadily back on Earth, Rocket Lab’s Electron will deploy a series of parachutes to …

Small-satellite launch firm Rocket Lab plans to recover the core booster of its Electron rocket using a helicopter, a bold cost-saving concept that, if successful, would make it the second company after Elon Musk’s SpaceX to reuse an orbital-class rocket booster.

“Electron is going reusable,” Rocket Lab chief executive Peter Beck said during a presentation in Utah, showing an animation of the rocket sending a payload into a shallow orbit before speeding back through Earth’s atmosphere.

The Auckland-based company is one of a growing cadre of launch companies looking to slash the cost of sending shoebox-sized satellites to low Earth orbit, building smaller rockets and reinventing traditional production lines to meet a growing payload demand.

Electron, which has flown seven missions so far, can send up to 225 kg into space for roughly $7 million. Medium-class launchers such as Los Angeles-based Relativity Space can send up to 1,000 kg into space for $10 million while Texas-based firm Firefly can do it for $15 million.

Unlike SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which reignites its engines to land steadily back on Earth, Rocket Lab’s Electron will deploy a series of parachutes to slow its fall through the Earth’s atmosphere.

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WATCH: SpaceX uses net to catch nose cone of rocket

SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk has been waiting for this moment for a long time. “We’ve got a special boat to catch the fairing. It’s like a giant catcher’s …

SpaceX caught a Falcon 9 rocket nose cone for the first time as it descended back from the edge of space.

The nose cone was captured on a net carried by Ms. Tree Boat, a member of SpaceX’s boat fleet.

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SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk has been waiting for this moment for a long time.

“We’ve got a special boat to catch the fairing. It’s like a giant catcher’s mitt in boat form,” Musk said.

The nose cone is worth a few million dollars and saving it means it can be re-used, like many of Falcon 9’s first stages.

A Falcon Heavy nose cone was caught several weeks ago.

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Elon Musk is Blocking People Who Say Photographers Should Be Credited

If you enjoy following Elon Musk on Twitter, be careful not to call him out on posting photographers’ work without permission or credit. Multiple people …

If you enjoy following Elon Musk on Twitter, be careful not to call him out on posting photographers’ work without permission or credit. Multiple people just got blocked by the Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur for doing just that.

It all started yesterday when Musk Tweeted a photo of a lightning strike to his 27+ million followers with the text “Ride the lightning!” The photo has gotten over 1,000 comments, 6,000 Retweets, and 70,000 likes.

It turns out the photo was shot from the bus at the launch pad by photographer Richard Angle, who has shot many launches over the course of his career — you can find more of his work on his website and Instagram. But Musk didn’t credit Angle at all for the photo aside from the tiny watermark that was left in the bottom corner of the image.

The photographer Tweeted a short message about the “exposure” last night before going to bed:

When photographers and other creatives saw Angle’s message, they jumped to his defense and started calling for Musk to respect copyright and not publish work without permission and credit.

“[Musk] should have just RT’d it or added my @,” Angle writes. “Creators deserve proper credit, we don’t make a living from watermarks.”

To add insult to injury, Musk appears to be actively blocking those who are calling him out over this copyright issue. One photographer got blocked for simply Tweeting Musk the message, “You should credit the photographer @RDAnglePhoto.”

At least three people — two photographers and a writer — have been blocked by Musk after they spoke out for Angle.

Other people are siding with Musk, with Angle responding to one by explaining that this watermark “exposure” doesn’t pay the bills.

“I appreciate everyone that said I deserved credit for my work, we all do,” Angle says, adding that he appreciates everyone “who got blocked by Elon.

“I don’t think you should have, you are just doing what’s right.”

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