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Tue Dec 4, 2018, 07:41 PM

SpaceX Just Misses Catching Rocket Nose Cone -- But Still Plans to Reuse It

By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | December 4, 2018 06:41am ET

SpaceX didn't manage to catch the rocket nose cone that fell back to Earth during Monday's epic launch, but the company plans to reuse the $6 million piece of equipment anyway.

Both halves of the protective payload fairing surrounding the 64 small satellites that were lofted Monday (Dec. 3) by a twice-flown SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket evaded the company's speedy, net-equipped boat, Mr. Steven. The parts instead splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.

But that's not a deal-breaker for reuse, according to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. [Launch Photos: SpaceX Falcon 9 Lofts 64 Satellites (and Lands) on Historic 3rd Flight]

"Falcon fairing halves missed the net but touched down softly in the water. Mr. Steven is picking them up. Plan is to dry them out & launch again. Nothing wrong with a little swim," Musk said via Twitter, about 90 minutes after the Falcon 9 lifted off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on the "SSO-A: Smallsat Express" mission.


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