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SpaceX Boat Snags Falling payload fairing in Historic First

SpaceX set a long-awaited missile reusability milestone yesterday in Falcon Heavy's epic launch.

The company's manned boat, Ms. Tree (formerly known as Mr. Steven), caught the falling payload fairing of the powerful rocket SpaceX agents reported off the coast of Florida yesterday morning (June 25): [19659002] This was a first for the speedboat, which had been close to each other several times, but had never managed to seal the deal.

] Related: SpaceX's disguise boat in photos

Payload fairings protect satellites at take-off and are dropped after the rockets reach space. The panels that SpaceX uses for the company's heavy and Falcon 9 rockets, which fall back to Earth in two parts, cost about $ 6 million each of these expensive hardware, according to company founder and CEO Elon Musk. In fact, SpaceX equips both halves of the fairing with parachutes and small control rudders to smooth and control the transmission.

And this is exactly where Ms. Tree comes in: If she snaps the halves of the fairing before they encounter corrosive seawater, reuse becomes more practical and cheaper, Musk says.

wife. According to the SpaceX start commentator and chief integration engineer John Insprucker, Tree tore half of a disguise out of the sky yesterday morning and the other half into the Atlantic Ocean.

"Another achievement for the SpaceX team, especially in the middle of the Atlantic," Insprucker said during the mission webcast.

SpaceX often reuses larger, more expensive rocket parts, namely the first stages of the two-stage Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy (which consist of three strapped, modified first stages of the Falcon 9, on which a second stage forms the upper limit) Booster).

For example, the two side boosters of the heavys had already made a flight from yesterday's mission launched by NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. And the first two stages landed again yesterday and landed safely in the Landing Zone-1, a SpaceX facility at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station off the KSC Atlantic, hundreds of miles off the coast of Florida, but just ahead. Yesterday's launch, the third flight for the Falcon Heavy, delivered 24 satellites in a variety of orbits within 3.5 hours. It was the hitherto most challenging SpaceX mission and perhaps the most complex rocket launch in history, Musk said via Twitter .

Mike Walls book on the search for extraterrestrial life. " Out There " (Grand Central Publishing, 2018, illustrated by Karl Tate ) is available now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall . Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook .

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