SpaceX recently shared some footage from a successful mission to recapture a part of a rocket’s nose cone after it fell into the ocean.
The June plan marked the first time after launch that a part of the rocket’s cone, which is also termed a fairing, was recovered. The fairing escorted itself into a large net hoisted up by a crew ship. SpaceX has been attempting to do this for over a year.
The corporate shared some footage this week from a camera on board the fairing during its fall. The video reveals a stream of neon-blue light flowing surrounding object as it falls back to Earth after reaching a pace over nine times the speed of sound.
“Friction heats particles in the environment, which appear shiny blue in the video,” SpaceX mentioned in a tweet that was attached with the video.
Also seen in the footage is a parachute — shaped like a giant stick of gum — that the fairing disposed of.
A second video shot by a camera aboard the net-wielding crew ship, named Ms. Tree, shows one of many fairing moieties land gently on its target.
The fairing mounts on the top of the rocket, and it acts as a protection for satellites that SpaceX launches for its clients. As soon as the missile is in space, it splits into two and drops away. After most rocket launches, the fairing halves are left to dive back to Earth, where the ocean becomes their grave.
SpaceX’s rocket fairings cost around $6 million, CEO Elon Musk has said.
Rather than letting the booster fall into the ocean, which is how most rocket components are discarded after launch, SpaceX devised a way to direct and land its first-stage boosters on ground pads or autonomous seaborne platforms, referred to as drone boats.