SpaceX will try to catch a part of its rocket with the help of a giant network

The company SpaceX on another (already the second) time postponed the launch of the Falcon 9 booster with several satellites on board and transferred it to February 22. And this time the reason for the transfer was bad weather over California. The velocity of the upper wind currents was 2 percent higher than the permissible values. It's not much, but Mask decided to be safe. Recall that within the launch it is planned to put into orbit two demonstration satellites MicroSat-2a and MicroSat-2b, which will be the first in the international system of high-speed broadband Internet access Starlink, supported by SpaceX.

In addition, together with the above-mentioned satellites, the satellite of the remote sensing satellite PAZ of the Spanish operator Hisdesat is planned to be launched into space. Initially, it was planned to launch on the Ukrainian-Russian Dnepr rocket in 2014, but after the events in Ukraine the agreement with both sides was broken and the right to launch PAZ in 2017 went to SpaceX.

The launch will be carried out using a Falcon 9 booster rocket with the first stage of the Block 3 version, which already flew into space in August 2017. Then, using it, the Taiwanese satellite Formosat-5 was put into orbit. It is noted that this is the last stage of the version of Block 3, which remained with SpaceX. The company also completes the use of the Block 4 version and is going to switch to the Block 5 version.

SpaceX does not plan to keep the stage of the last generation, but will try to save one or two halves of the upgraded (slightly enlarged) head fairing of the rocket. In "Twitter" appeared a picture of a giant network, with the help of which they will try to catch parts of the head fairing.

The grid is mounted on the ship. Steven in the port of San Pedro in Los Angeles (USA). It is intended to mitigate the fall of the rocket element

At an altitude of about 100 kilometers, the speed of a half-head fairing in one tonne will exceed the speed of sound by about ten times. At an altitude of about 10 kilometers, in the case of a successful orientation in space, the speed should drop to half the speed of sound. After that, it is planned to release a parachute and turn on the GPS system, which will allow the ship Mr. Steven track down the area of ​​the fall of the rocket element and try to catch it.

The desire to maintain the head fairing of the Falcon 9 missile is explained by the high cost of this detail. It is 6 million dollars. If it is possible to save at least half of the fairing, it will reduce the total cost of the next launch, estimated at $ 62 million, by five percent.

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