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SpaceX successfully catches both fairings from a launch

Capitalism in space: For the first time SpaceX yesterday successfully caught both fairings halves in the nets of their ships as they floated down to the ocean on their parasails.

Previously they have mostly plucked the fairings from the sea, though they have caught a few in the netting of the ships. To catch both simplifies the preparation for the next flight enormously, as they never touched the water.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Ray Van Dune

    I recall that during the webcast yesterday, the point was made that the fairings were to be plucked from the water, that NO attempt would be made to catch them in a net. Obviously a pretty substantial error in their reporting.

    Note: I did not stay with the webcast, and instead switched to Spacex’s own coverage, which I prefer, before the launch. So it is possible that information was later corrected.

  • Andrew_W

    A short piece of video with highlights.

  • David M. Cook

    Looks like the ‘chutes auto-detach when the fairings hit the net, very slick! Now, if they could only recover the parachutes after landing…

  • Mike Borgelt

    Just quickly reel in the lines on one side. Will collapse the cute.

  • jfm

    Congratulation to SpaceX on another successful milestone. Its amazing what can be done when vision, engineering and ambition are combined.

    I’m sure the answer is No. To make sure I have not missed an announcement, is any of the SLS going to be recovered for future flights?

  • Edward

    jfm asked: “I’m sure the answer is No. To make sure I have not missed an announcement, is any of the SLS going to be recovered for future flights?

    You are right about the answer being “no.” Even the solid rocket boosters, which were reused on the Space Shuttle, will not be reused. The cost of refurbishing them saved little money, so instead of learning from the experience, SLS is a throw away rocket.

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