SpaceX has always looked at creating reusable rockets that will make spaceflight cheaper, and it has become routine to see the company’s booster rockets return safely to Earth. Following today’s launch, SpaceX has set a new milestone by catching both halves of the nosecone fairing, according to a tweet from CEO Elon Musk.
Musk previously said the parts are worth about $6 million, and while the company has reused some after they landed in the sea or a ship caught one half, it’s potentially cheaper to get them back undamaged if both fall into a net.
Both fairing halves caught from space by @SpaceX ships!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2020
Recent fairing recovery test with Mr. Steven. So close! pic.twitter.com/DFSCfBnM0Y
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 8, 2019
For now, we don’t have any video that shows the fairing recovery itself, only the one we placed above which is from a test, but you can still see the successful catch of one half after launch last year, as well as video of the Falcon 9’s first stage making its safe landing on a drone ship.
Rocket fairing falls from space & is caught by Ms Tree boat pic.twitter.com/nJv0Ry1iKk
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2019
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship pic.twitter.com/fPbckYFySh
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 20, 2020