Aloha, welcome back from space, says SpaceX, as it makes rocket fairing catch look easy with autopilot recovery
Guwahati: Elon Musk is trending on Twitter yet again. The SpaceX CEO shared an incredible video of recovering a rocket fairing at sea via a ship that has caught the widespread attention of Twitterati and experts, among others.
The video has already garnered 4.8 million views. With the catchy elevator music in the background, Musk captioned it as: “Aloha, welcome back from space.”
This is also a first for his company, as when a rocket launches with a payload, it needs fairing which is essentially the nose cone. As the rocket gets past the atmosphere of Earth, the fairing is dropped as it becomes an extra weight.
Under usual circumstances, these fairings are not recovered. On the other hand, they are quite an expensive component and if reports are to be believed, for the Falcon Heavy rocket it can cost about $6 million.
The Falcon9 rocket fairing was recovered just hours after the successful launch of the Starlink-10 launch on Tuesday and SpaceX has made rocket fairing recovery look easy and flawless. The video shared by Musk offers the best-in action view of the operational recovery.
Additionally, according to Musk, SpaceX was able to catch the fairing half of Starlink-10 with both recovery ship GO Ms. Tree and the parasailing fairing half “operating on (SpaceX) autopilot.” Although this comment leaves a great deal of interpretation, it seems to imply that SpaceX was able to make fairing recovery almost as automatic as Falcon booster landing.
Although very little is known about the specifics of the operation beyond the fact that the fairing halves have cold thrusters for positioning in a vacuum and that they even use GPS-guided parafoils to travel towards a difficult landing zone.