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SpaceX’s fairing-catching boat heads to sea, this time with a bigger net

25 July 2018

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After several near-misses in tries to catch payload shrouds jettisoned from Falcon 9 rockets climbing into space, a high-speed boat tasked with retrieving the fairings for SpaceX to reuse has been upgraded and dispatched into the Pacific Ocean ahead of a launch Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force in California.

The fairing retrieval vessel, named "Mr. Steven," left the Port of Los Angeles late Monday heading for a position in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles south of Vandenberg, where the two halves of the Falcon 9's payload fairing will fall after launch with 10 Iridium voice and data relay satellites.

The fairing will split open like a clamshell around three minutes after liftoff, set for 4:39:30 a.m. PDT (7:39:30 a.m. EDT; 1139:30 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg, a military facility around 140 miles (225 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.

Source: Spaceflight Now

Image credit: SpaceX

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