SpaceX u years catch sti rockets to st. Is it to him?

For three years now, SpaceX has been capturing the noses of its noses in special sts. Did this technology meet the results?

SpaceX celebrated this msc dv mal vro. The years have passed since the Paz mission and two years since the Nusantara Satu mission. With the Paz satellite, two Tintin satellites were launched, which were the first prototypes of satellites for the Starlink constellation, and on the Nusantara Satu mission, in addition to the Indonesian satellite, the Lunar Lander Beresheet was launched.

Both flights are connected by the issue of protection of aerodynamic covers. At the launch, these missile covers protect the load from atmospheric influences. Because the production of one cover costs an estimated $ 5 and $ 6 million, SpaceX is trying to use it in the same way as the first stage Falcon missiles. The covers are equipped with pads and dock pistons either in the price or in the middle on a special boat.

For the first time on the Paz mission, the cover flew in an improved version 2.0, which was slightly smaller than the original version and was first better adapted to protect the cover. Version 1.0 only allowed the piston to cover only one half of the cover.

During the Paz mission, for the first time, there was an attempt to cover the cover of the ship on Mr. Steven. SpaceX has therefore been trying to grab the cover on the ships for three years, so it was a good time to look back.


Aerodynamic cover after an attempt at a piston on the ship Mr. Steven during the Paz mission

First attempts

SpaceX began experimenting with a protected cover at least since March 2016, when the SES-9 mission flew covers equipped with maneuvering nozzles for directing them before returning to the atmosphere.

A year later on the SES-10 mission, then one of the covers was equipped with a parachute, which put the piston in the valuation. At that time, Elon Musk somewhat naively stated that the first re-use of the cover would take place in 2017. Finally, this happened in November 2019, as the protection of the cover turned out to be quite difficult, it did not seem after the first long hurry.

In 2017, several other attempts were made to protect the cover after the award. In all cases, the cover was caught during the piston or during the hunt, so it could not be handcuffed again. The problem was also the contact of water mosquitoes with covers made of carbon composites and clay.

SpaceX therefore led to the fact that it would be better so that the covers did not come into contact with water at all during protection. The result was lo Mr. Steven, who was equipped with a large wall, into which he had to cover the cover, falling on a self-driving pad.

The first attempt at the piste was made first during the Paz mission three years ago. The cover then missed a few hundred meters, but at least one half of the cover was fished out of the water. SpaceX then gradually honed the whole process, and with each subsequent attempt, the company was always in a hurry.

Mr. Steven has meanwhile gone through several improvements and got in s or an advanced navigation system. In addition, SpaceX has developed an improved version of the aerodynamic cover, which we unofficially call v2.5. It has thermal protection on the oven and probably put glues, but these were never officially confirmed. The cover flew for the first time on the GPSIII-SV01 mission in December 2018.

Thermal detail

Detail of the thermal protection on the top of the Falcon 9 aerodynamic cover before the Transporter-1

During the Nusantara Satu mission, which took place exactly one year after the Paz mission, an attempt was made to save the shelter. In the end, it did not happen, because lo Mr. Steven was damaged on the way to Pistn. Lo then the tyi msce was out of order and meanwhile he changed owners and was renamed Ms. Tree.

The repaired ship was then re-deployed in action in June 2019 during the STP-2 mission, which was the last launch of the Falcon Heavy. And for the first time during this mission, a pistol with a cover to Wed, 16 msc was managed for the first time after the first attempt at the Paz mission.

Since then, it has been possible to capture the cover by st. Gradually, it turned out that the piston was not necessary. The improved cover v2.5 is especially durable and contact with sea water does not cause it any major problems. The very first rescue cover of this type, which managed to catch the undamaged pistol until the award during the Arabsat 6A mission, was used again in November 2019 on the Starlink v1-1 mission.

It was historically the first re-use of the aerodynamic cover and since then at least one has used the cover on 11 different missions. The use of covers was initially used only for Starlink bowls, but at the turn of 2020 and 2021 the first commercial missions with its used covers took place.

Some specific covers even managed to complete at three different starts. The shortest interval between starts was 127 days. it was a cover, which he completed two missions before. In both cases, the pistols into the water, also their reusability is definitely not conditioned by pistols in the wall. We do not know how exactly the process of refurbishing the cover on the next mission, but it can be assumed that in the case of a dry piston, the process is easier, and therefore faster and cheaper.

In 2020, SpaceX managed to save a total of 35 halves of the cover out of a total of 42, piem 7 of them were captured to st. The vast majority will rescue the cover then fly again (regardless of whether the guns in the wall or in the water). For example, in the first half of 2020, 11 halves of the cover were rescued out of a total of 16, and only one of them did not fly again.

The last switch to the piston cover took place in June 2020. Since then, SpaceX has in most cases been satisfied with the piston cover until the award and no attempt has been made to capture them in the center.

So it seems to me that SpaceX was annoyed with the catch, but I don’t think that’s completely true. It seems that the company tries to get the piston cover only in very good weather, because an unsuccessful attempt to catch it increases the fact that the cover is damaged (for example, when the seal misses or slips off due to wind).

Spn captured mainly improves the probability of re-use of the cover, but it is not completely basic. In some cases, on the contrary, there is an increased risk.


Use the aerodynamic cover before starting the Starlink v1-1 mission

Mus bt dost lod

Experience to date suggests that SpaceX tries to catch enclosures only when there are both Ms. Tree, so the sister lo Ms. Chief. Such a situation has hardly occurred in recent months. Either some were out of service due to repairs, or the weather was bad.

In addition, it sometimes happens that SpaceX launches take place so quickly that the ship does not have time to return to the port and unload the rescue covers during the first mission. It is impossible to catch two covers in one place, you must first unload one. However, a new test, which Ms. Tree got sweat after the star broke during the cover of the Starlink v1-13 mission.


Rescue cover from the Starlink v1-12 mission

So, if SpaceX didn’t work with the catch in the future, it would probably not be bothered with the installation and testing. However, if attempts are made to cover the piston cover in time, the project of reusability of the cover can be described as a hurry, as the company has millions of dollars at almost every start.

A list of all attempted rescue cover can be found here and given information on Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief, the issue of cover protection and the history of this project can be seen in our article.

The text was created for the server. It was edited before publication, the original can be found here.