US aerospace company SpaceX has upgraded its Mr Steven boat, designed to catch rocket fairings after launch. The boat received a new net four times the size of the previous one.
The net stretched over the vessel now has an area of nearly 3,700 square meters. SpaceX co-owner and chief engineer Elon Musk (Elon Musk) hopes that with its help attempts to catch rocket fairings will still be successful - so far this has never been done.
Fairings are heat shields located on top of the rocket. They split into two parts after the rocket enters space and fall to the ground.
Right now, the fairings just sink into the ocean waters, but Elon Musk intends to make sure that they can be caught and recovered for reuse.
Such aspiration is understandable: the cost of one part is $6 million, and the company plans to launch about 24 rockets next year.
To accomplish this task SpaceX is equipping both halves of the fairing with engines and parachutes to reduce the speed of their fall, as well as
The Mr Steven was built by Gulf Craft Shipyard in 2015. With its enormous size - 62 meters long and 8 meters wide - the vessel is capable of speeds of up to 32 knots.