From Popular Mechanics
- Earlier this week, SpaceX launched a South Korean military communications satellite atop a Falcon 9 rocket.
- The launch broke the company’s rocket reuse record.
- And for the first time, SpaceX also captured both payload fairings as they hurtled back toward Earth.
On July 20, SpaceX launched a South Korean military communications satellite atop the same Falcon 9 rocket that sent NASA astronauts to the International Space Station just 51 days earlier. It was a big day for Elon Musk and the gang.
In addition to successfully landing the Falcon 9 rocket on its “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, SpaceX also captured both payload fairings that were flung off the rocket before the satellite deployed. It’s the first time SpaceX has retrieved both fairings after a launch.
The company posted an impressive series of videos to mark the occasion. The fairings, hanging from an orange parachute, are seen floating gently into wide nets strapped to SpaceX’s ships, Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief. Musk also tweeted about the fairings:
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SpaceX has worked to reduce the cost of rocket launches by reusing as many parts of the rockets as possible, including the payload fairings. Monday’s launch also broke the company’s previous rocket reuse record by three days.
Next on SpaceX’s agenda? Welcoming Bob and Doug home.
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