Published: Sat, April 13, 2019
Science | By

SpaceX successfully recovered Falcon Heavy’s nosecone, and it’s going to space again

SpaceX successfully recovered Falcon Heavy’s nosecone, and it’s going to space again

'Both fairings recovered, ' Musk wrote in a tweet.

In a reply to another user's tweet, the tech mogul explained that each fairing has its own avionics system and nitrogen thrusters, as well as steerable parachutes, to help them return to Earth safely.

And even before that point, SpaceX was already celebrating the successful landing of Falcon Heavy's three individual boosters.

Less than eight minutes after take off, the two boosters landed side by side on Cape Canaveral, while the central core stage landed itself one minute later on the drone ship called "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX has tried to recover payload fairings during previous launches but to no avail. This came just 14 months after the inaugural launch that saw the rocket successfully send a Tesla Roadster (with Spaceman) into orbit, followed by the retrieval of two of its boosters afterward - which pulled off a near-synchronous landing!

SpaceX constructed a boat with a massive net attached, affectionately called Mr. Steven (pictured), to try to recover the fairings.

After a successful launch that delivered the Arabsat-6A satellite into its planned orbit, SpaceX also succeeded in landing all three of the boosters for their Falcon Heavy rocket - a first for the private space company. 'Three for three boosters today for the Falcon Heavy'.


The success of the Falcon Heavy is also paramount considering NASA's recent announcement that this rocket system could be used as a backup for future missions to the Moon, should the SLS not be ready in time.

This mission (Arabsat-6) was of particular significance since it was the first time the Falcon Heavy was being used to launch a commercial payload into orbit.

SpaceX tries to re-use rockets, payload fairings, boosters and other parts to try to cut down on the cost of each rocket mission.

SpaceX and Boeing Co are also vying to send humans to space from USA soil for the first time in almost a decade under NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

The rocket is part of a growing number of launch services at SpaceX, which includes the Crew Dragon that docked onto the International Space Station in March.

The payload fairings are clam shell-like nose cone halves that protect the craft's payload.

The Falcon Heavy's two side boosters gracefully lower themselves onto the landing zones at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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