What do you think humanity spends more onall the money? Most likely, the most expensive occupation of people today is space exploration. Just imagine - every time scientists need to put an artificial satellite into low Earth orbit, they pay tens of millions of dollars to aerospace companies. But such launches are carried out quite often, but rocket manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce their cost. SpaceX, for example, uses certain parts of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets repeatedly, catching them with a ship with a stretched mesh.
In 2015, the company learned safelyreturn to Earth the first stages of rockets. At first, this task was given to her with difficulty and in the course of numerous attempts, the steps could not sit exactly on a platform floating in the ocean and exploded. Having gained experience, the company began to return the first steps without errors, and at the moment it has returned back more than 43 steps and reused them at least 24 times.
How does SpaceX save money?
Now the company is trying to make reusable notless important parts of the rockets are head fairings. These cone-shaped parts are located at the very top of the missiles and reduce air resistance, allowing missiles to rise faster into the air. Fairings also protect the payload from the high temperatures that the launch vehicle is exposed to at launch.
Half fairing rocket Falcon 9
Fairings made of carbon fiberand aluminum, and are also equipped with sophisticated electronics. Because of this, their production costs SpaceX $ 6 million. Given that the cost of the Falcon 9 rocket is about $ 60 million, the price of the head fairing is about 10% of this amount. That is, using the top of the rocket repeatedly, the company can save quite a lot of money.
Read: SpaceX reusable rockets will make space launches cheaper. But how much?
SpaceX reusable rockets
In April 2019, SpaceX successfully returned toGround fairing of a Falcon Heavy booster. He gently fell onto a net stretched over a special ship called GO Ms Tree. The length of the vessel is 62 meters, and the width is 10 meters - with all this, its surface area is 3700 square meters. As you can see, the fairings during the fall is quite difficult to miss, especially since they land using a controlled parachute. By the way, rocket fairings are divided into two parts and each of them needs to be caught separately.
You won’t miss the GO Ms Tree!
SpaceX Head Fairing Returns to Earth
Apparently, SpaceX employees have already recruitedexperience in the descent of the head fairings. On the night of August 7, they launched the Falcon 9 launch vehicle into the sky and launched the Israeli communications satellite Spacecom AMOS-17 into orbit. The company completed the mission for free, because in 2018 it was not able to put the AMOS-6 satellite from the same company into orbit due to a rocket explosion. The lost satellite, by the way, cost more than $ 200 million.
Satellite Spacecom AMOS-17
This time the mission went smoothly and after the withdrawalsatellite into orbit, the nose of the rocket successfully separated from the structure and began to fall back to Earth. After passing through the atmosphere and after spending some time in free flight, the fairing opened a guided parachute and softly fell on a network stretched over the ship.
Impressive, right? The success of SpaceX is encouraging, especially since very soon it will begin to launch even more satellites into orbit. The fact is that, especially for small telecom operators, she launched the SmallSat Rideshare program, in which customers get more opportunities than usual. Most importantly, SpaceX is ready to provide the service at a much lower price than its competitors.
Falcon 9 Fairing in GO Ms Tree
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