After a series of delays due to hardware issues and inclement weather, SpaceX managed to launch the AMOS-17 communications satellite into orbit last night. The mission went well as the SpaceX Falcon 9 completed its third mission, but due to the nature of the launch, the company was unable to restore its rocket stage a third time.
t prevent SpaceX from restoring another valuable piece of its high-tech hardware. The Nosecone disguise is something that the company has been trying to catch and reuse for some time now and that it did for the first time at the end of June. Now SpaceX has made it again, and we have a video of the catch to prove it.
SpaceX head Elon Musk tweeted early Sunday evening, releasing a video of SpaceX's net-equipped ship, M. Tree, positioned perfectly below the slowly-positioned ship-descending nose cone, allowing it to gently enter to drop its huge net:
SpaceX spent many months perfecting the art of catching its rocket panels, and there was no shortage of problems. The awkward shape of the nose cone hoppers complicates the prediction of its course, and many flaws shaped the design of the slide system with which the panels are now fitted.
SpaceX's reusable rocket technology has already proven itself, and the company has sent many of them into space several times during the first stages of its Falcon 9s. This can significantly reduce turnaround time between launches, while allowing the company to offer its services at a lower cost.
Catching and reusing his nose scones is not that big of a deal, but it can support the company's business model and potentially lower costs, but only if SpaceX makes a habit of catching them without any problems.