SpaceX snatched a rocket nose out of the sky – and CEO Elon Musk posted a video of the moment on Twitter.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched an AMOS-17 communications satellite at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday. The launch took place at 7:23 pm, and the satellite was deployed 31 minutes later.
Musk's video captured the moment that the rocket's fairing – a nose cone used to protect the satellite payload – fell back to earth and was rescued by a boat, named Ms. Tree, carrying a huge net in the Atlantic Ocean.
You can watch the video of the capture here.
Rocket fairing falling from space (higher res) pic.twitter.com/sa1j10qAWi— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2019
It is not the first time the Ms. Tree has successfully caught a fairing. The boat did so in July when SpaceX tweeted a video of the landing from the perspective of the fairing.
View from the fairing during the STP-2 mission; when the fairing returns to Earth, friction heats up particles in the atmosphere, which appear bright blue in the video pic.twitter.com/P8dgaIfUbl— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 3, 2019
Rescuing the rocket nose means SpaceX saves US$6 million by not having to build a replacement, according to Musk.
It's another step forward in his mission to recycle rocket parts, which also includes SpaceX's spectacular booster landings.
But Ms. Tree has not always been successful. During a recovery test in January, the boat just missed its target, which was dropped from a helicopter.
Recent fairing recovery test with Mr. Steven. So close! pic.twitter.com/DFSCfBnM0Y— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 8, 2019
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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