Elon Musk shared a fascinating video of SpaceX’s net-equipped drone ship catching a Falcon 9 nose cone (payload fairing) falling from the sky during the launch of the Amos-17 communications satellite. For those who don’t know, these nose cones surround satellites during launch, and SpaceX’s are composed of two halves, each equipped with small, steering thrusters and parafoils to help in recovery efforts. Read more for the video and additional information.
Rocket fairing falling from space (higher res) pic.twitter.com/sa1j10qAWi
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2019
Why does Elon Musk want to recover these nose cones? Well, it could be that each one costs around $6 million. Saltwater is also extremely corrosive, so keeping the two halves dry makes the possibility of reusing them much higher. SpaceX also reuses its rockets, and with the Falcon 9 landing its first stages 44 times so far, over 20 boosters have taken to the skies multiple times.