SpaceX working to improve fairing recovery for continued success

After a year of solid success with Falcon 9 fairing recovery and reuse, SpaceX has once again started tinkering with the recovery operation. SpaceX’s fairing recovery program has been in development for many years and has evolved into a largely underappreciated, but highly successful, operation. Fairings are now regularly flying on multiple missions in a consistent manner, and it’s rare for a fairing to be recovered in a damaged state or not at all. The current confirmed flight record is six reuses of a fairing half. Since the introduction of multi-purpose SpaceX vessels Bob and Doug, SpaceX has enjoyed this success in the wake of several years of inconsistency during which time SpaceX pursued catching the fairing with vessels Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief. Having ultimately abandoned the catching method–and Ms. Tree and Chief–the company started using cranes to recover the fairing halves. Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief near Port Canaveral. (Credit: Julia Bergeron for NSF) For this to work, SpaceX positioned a vessel with a crane downrange in a pre-determined area. The fairing would descend towards the ocean under parafoil and then make a soft splashdown. The recovery ship would then move in and deploy a fast boat and…

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SpaceX working to improve fairing recovery for continued success

Updated: August 3, 2022 — 10:26 am