SpaceX painfully approaches a part of its rocket that falls from the sky after every launch. A new video posted by the company on Twitter shows a recent drop test of the nose cone of the rocket, the bulbous shell that shields the vehicle's satellite and then breaks off during the flight. In the movie, the Nose Cone lands on the lifeboat of SpaceX almost but eventually it falls into the water.
Although watching the video is painful, this suggests that SpaceX will soon be able to play a successful nose cone recovery after an upcoming mission. And that could bring some savings to SpaceX. This hardware, also referred to as payload disguise costs, according to the company for each flight about 6 million US dollars. SpaceX boss Elon Musk was eager to rescue those expensive parts and reuse them ̵
"Imagine you have $ 6 million in cash in a range that flies through the air and it will hit the ocean," Musk said. "Would you try to restore that? Yes. Yes, you would. "
Since last year, the company has been trying to perfect a crazy routine for intercepting these panels with a mix of parachutes and boats. After SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets reach outer space, the panels burn and fall to the ground. Each half is equipped with engines and a guidance system that controls the descent to the surface. They also use special parachutes to slow their fall. As they approach the sea, a boat comes with a huge reticulated Mr. Steven, who catches half of the disguise. (Presumably another boat will be needed in the future to get both parts.)
SpaceX tried this technique after three flights, and none was successful. The company even enlarged Mr. Steven's network, but still no luck. To improve the process, SpaceX did drop tests with Mr. Steven, disassembling a helicopter and then trying to catch them by boat. Another video released on January 7 by SpaceX shows that the disguise loses the net by a few meters. In the last video released yesterday, some of the disguise actually touches the net, but it's not enough to stay on the boat.
Mr. Steven, who was stationed on the west coast, will soon head for the East Coast to capture the falling panels of SpaceX's missions in Florida. In the coming months we may see a successful recovery in the Atlantic.