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SpaceX has managed to do another thing which seemed audacious and highly unlikely after a few early botched attempts – it used a ship at sea to catch the falling nosecone that shielded the cargo aboard its Falcon Heavy rocket during launch.
The maneuver saw a SpaceX -owned barge called Ms. Tree rigged with a giant net slung across four large protruding beams navigate to a point off the Florida coast in the Atlantic Ocean to await the SpaceX fairing’s return once it separated from the rocket. Falcon Heavy launched from Kennedy Space Center last night for its STP-2 mission.
Ms - Tree - Mr - Steven - Trip
Ms. Tree (née Mr. Steven) had made a long trip to make the catch, relocating from the West Coast to the East via the Panama Canal earlier in the year to put it in place to make some attempts at catching SpaceX rockets launched from Florida, after beginning its career serving the launches that take place from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The boat was put into service during a SpaceX launch from Vandenberg for the first time in February 2017, but the fairing missed the net and the boat, and the same is true for three subsequent attempts in...
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