SpaceX is the undisputed king of commercial spaceflight at the moment, thanks in large part to its highly efficient method of landing and reusing its Falcon 9 rocket boosters. In an effort to take its reusable rocket dreams one step further, the company attempted to recover another piece of hardware during its launch earlier today. That component, called a fairing, acts like a nosecone. Normally the fairing falls to Earth where SpaceX picks up the pieces and builds a new one for the next launch, but recovering it without damaging it is a multi-million dollar achievement. Unfortunately, the company's first attempt didn't go as planned.
The main issue with recovering the fairing is that it's a "dumb" piece of hardware that isn't particularly aerodynamic and plummets towards Earth at well over the speed of sound, meaning that it lands wherever it lands and that's about it. This time around, SpaceX equipped its fairing with thrusters of its own as well as a guidance system and parachute which was supposed to slow it down enough that SpaceX's fancy ship, called Mr. Steven, could use its giant net to catch it in the air. Yeah, it didn't work.
BGR Top Deals:
- Today’s top deals: $30 Wi-Fi extender, $18 router, heavenly pillows, $19 wireless earbuds, more
- Amazon’s deal of the day gets you a killer Wi-Fi setup for just $48 total
Trending Right Now:
- The first $999 Android phone is here, and it’s not even the Galaxy S9
- Galaxy S9 pricing all but confirmed, and yep, it’s as bad as we thought
- Amateur astronomer witnesses something scientists have been waiting decades for
Elon Musk just tried to catch falling bits of spacecraft with a giant net because sure, why not originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 22 Feb 2018 at 14:51:42 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.