SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 two-stage rocket to orbit on Tuesday, offering a free ride for the AMOS-17 communications satellite. It was the third flight for the Falcon 9 booster and to get the satellite to orbit SpaceX had to do away with the booster — so we don't get to see SpaceX pull off another dazzling booster return. However, we have got the next best thing: A droneship capturing the rocket's fairing.
Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, posted a video of the daring fairing capture to Twitter on Tuesday.
The fairing is part of the protective cover at the top of the Falcon 9, which shields payloads as they're lifted into orbit. Once the rocket punches out of the atmosphere and into space, the fairing breaks in half and falls back to Earth. A droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, then attempts to catch the fairing with a giant net.
We've seen SpaceX capture a fairing on its most recent launch and before that we've seen it fail a few times. It seems practice makes perfect and it's finally getting the hang of nabbing the nosecone like a ship-sized Mark Waugh stationed in the slips (that's one for our ARead More – Source