SpaceX’s net-equipped boat, Mr. Steven, came agonizingly close to plucking a falling rocket payload fairing out of the sky during a recent test, a new video shows.
The fairing splashed down in the ocean right next to Mr. Steven, riding the whitewater wake generated by the speedy boat. And “right next to” is no exaggeration; Mr. Steven’s broad net appeared to snag the edge of the fairing’s parafoil.
The test appeared to take place in the Pacific Ocean, just off the California coast (based on the terrain, and the fact that SpaceX headquarters is in the Los Angeles area, as is the home port for Mr. Steven). A helicopter lifted the payload fairing off the deck of a different ship, carried it high into the sky, and then dropped it, as shown in the 59-second video, which SpaceX posted on Twitter yesterday (Jan. 7).
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