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Watch SpaceX ships finally catch a whole Falcon 9 rocket nose cone


SpaceX’s Ms. Tree ship was originally named Mr. Steven.


SpaceX ticked a lot of boxes with its Monday launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the South Korean Anasis-II military satellite: Successfully deployed the satellite. Landed the first-stage booster on a drone ship in the ocean. Caught both halves of the fairing for the first time.

The fairing is the nose cone that protects the cargo during launch. It splits open and falls back to Earth. SpaceX’s two ships, Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief, caught the two pieces in their wide nets. SpaceX has long sought a clean capture of both fairing halves, so this was a moment worth celebrating.

SpaceX tweeted videos of the catches on Tuesday. They show all the excitement as each fairing half lands in its respective net, parachutes trailing behind.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk also announced the success on Monday, tweeting, “Both fairing halves caught from space by SpaceX ships!”

All this effort is part of SpaceX’s work to reuse rocket parts to reduce the cost of launches. 

The Anasis-II mission is also notable for marking the fastest turnaround time for a rocket reuse. The Falcon 9 booster originally flew NASA astronauts into space on the Demo-2 mission in May, just 51 days prior to Anasis-II.

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