• Lee

    Did I fall asleep and wake up on April 1st?!?!?!?

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Yup, make up for the lack of control authority in the load by moving the receiver.

  • Ignacio Rockwill

    You’re crazy SpaceX. I love you, but you’re crazy.

    (I originally posted the Will Ferrell clip from Old School, but it seems it was moderated).

  • patb2009

    fairings aren’t cheap but the cost of sending a boat out to try and catch them isn’t low either.

  • mattmcc80

    If the fairings really are $6M as Musk says, it’s a pretty easy case to make for trying to catch them. Fuel isn’t _that_ expensive.

  • SamuelRoman13

    I hope it is a fast boat or no wind. They have a long time to figure out where it will land, but may start at the wrong spot and will not have enough time to get there. I was hoping they could waterproof the fairing and just go and pick it up. I don’t think NASA will agree to catch a Dragon with this. For Dragon I was thinking a deck with white foam blocks. Watching all of those capsule landing long ago, everyone was asking:Why not land on the carrier?

  • Michael Halpern

    Plus as these are relatively short range, they could always get a few utility scale power packs to make them electric

  • Larry J

    Odds are they’re using parafoil chutes (like the ones skydivers use, just much bigger) that are guided towards the ship. The military has GPS guided cargo chutes for special purpose missions.


  • Michael Halpern

    This is the company that sent a sports car into solar orbit, however this was suspected for a while we have seen Mr Steven without the net but the supports for one starting a couple months ago

  • Kirk

    Here is a 2015 SpaceX video from taken from a GoPro camera mounted within a fairing showing its view for two minutes following fairing separation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_sLTe6-7SE

  • Vladislaw

    Like catching suitcases filled with money falling from the sky ..

  • Terry Stetler

    “I hope it is a fast boat or no wind. ”

    It’s registered as a High Speed Craft, and it’s builder (Gulf Craft) lists it as having Hamilton waterjet propulsion (usually 20-50 kts) with Thrustmaster bow thrusters. Basically, fast as hell and able to spin on a dime.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Lets juxtapose this week’s space news:

    1) NASA has spent 500M dollars on a leaning tower of mobile service structure that they will use, at most, once because it’s too heavy for SLS with EUS. This was to save money by converting the Ares I MSS vs just building a new one. Nice try boys…

    2) SpaceX is onto tackling fairing recovery to shave 6 million dollars of cost off the cheapest access to orbit in the world. And apparently spent around the same amount of money to develop FH as NASA on a hunk of rusting steel in the VAB parking lot.

  • delphinus100

    Exactly what I was thinking…

  • duheagle

    28 kts.

  • ThomasLMatula

    It’s just shows the basic difference in behavior that results from using tax payer money versus your own money.

    The first is treated by NASA as an source of funding that will never run out, whereas the second is money that is earned the hard way by working hard. That is why space exploration will always be expensive the government way and will only become affordable when private entrepreuers take over.

  • patb2009

    If you land in the water at a mild descent rate, the water splashes and absorbs the last of the shock.

    If you land on the carrier deck, it’s one heck of a jolt.

  • patb2009

    You can buy a lot of fuel for $6M, but, there is a lot more cost to this then the fuel.
    There is the barge, maintenance, people, etc. You need at least two barges per fairing. So Four barges, tenders, staff, It’s all off shore, so you need to run some 200 miles off shore. The tenders are $25K/Day/tender. people are pricey

  • mattmcc80

    That’s what the net is for, to catch it gently.

  • mattmcc80

    They already maintain support vessels that go out with the landing barges, so not much of an additional cost there. Even if the whole fairing recovery cost some outrageous amount like $2M per mission, they’d still benefit from it.

  • SamuelRoman13

    Can they get both halves in one net? I posted many comments trying to get them to use parafoils or steerable parachutes on Dragon. Maybe they will transfer this knowledge to land on the Shuttle runway.
    Yours Truly: Saturn, Saturn13

  • Lee

    My guess is they are going to try to catch one in the net, and will fish the other one out of the drink. This will tell them if they really need to build 5 more net boats (2 for each launch site including Texas).

  • Lee

    At this point SpaceX has a veritable navy of vessels. In the end, I can see the following:

    9 drone ships (three for each launch location, so that FH cores don’t have to be able to make it all the way back to land).

    6 net boats (2 for each location).

    Unknown (to me) number of tenders for the drone ships. Does each drone ship need a tender? If you could get by with one tender for the FH side core drone ships, and one for the center core (which would be further downrange), that would still come to 6 tenders.

    That gives them ultimately 21 ships for FH and F9 ops. BFR ops will likely require bigger drone ships, which will add at least 3 more vessels, for a total of 24.

    That’s bigger than some navies 🙂

  • ThomasLMatula

    The tender ships could probably do double duty recovering the Dragon2 from the water. But its also easy to see why SpaceX was not happy about NASA objecting to land recovery of the Dragon2. The ability for the BFR to operate without a navy is likely another factor in SpaceX deciding to focus on it. It eliminates an entire category of costs and problems, water recovery.

    Not only that, but when proven out it will allow them to start to move to inland launch sites that are much closer to markets for point to point transportation. Yes, Mojave Air and Space Port may well see BFR service to the world in its future, which would transform it.

  • Lee

    I doubt you’re going to see rockets flying willy-nilly over populated landmasses during ascent. Sonic booms, and high-speed rocket parts from “unexpected rapid disassembly” (which WILL still happen occasionally, just as airliners still crash occasionally) are just two of the many reasons why.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Having an actual goal helps too

  • Jacob Samorodin

    There’s irony there, Larry. The original plan for Project Gemini spacecraft way back in September, 1961 was to return them to Earth by means of a triangular paraglider system that would supposedly caused a two-seater Gemini spacecraft with skids to glide back to land on solid ground instead of a parachute splashdown. Some engineer convince NASA it would work. Tests with airdropped models didn’t work.
    Two years were wasted on the paraglider design even though Al Shepard showed NASA that parachute splashdowns worked fine. The first manned Gemini went up in 1965, instead of 1963. The paraglide system designer went on to become rich with the invention on the hang-glider.

  • SamuelRoman13

    There should be a good video of the X-37(I think) flight and landing. I remember it missed the runway and landed in the scrub. 3 or 4 parachutes backup each other, but hard to have 2 para-foils. Soyuz does have one parachute and a backup. 4 parachutes on Dragon may be hard to control. Not worth the effort and free land in the water.

  • Larry J

    His name was Francis Rogallo. He and his wife Gertrude started working on the flexible wing design in 1948. It didn’t work out as a space capsule recovery system but worked quite well for early hang gliders. I guess the idea was just too far ahead of its time.

    Modern parafoils are a lot more mature design wise than those early Rogallo wing designs. They’ve been used by skydivers for 30+ years and more recently for precision cargo drops. Guided by GPS and an autopilot, they’re much more accurate and safer (both to the dropping crews and to people on the ground) than traditional cargo chutes.

  • publiusr


    Then McEnroe comes out and…