SpaceX catches rocket nosecone for the first time with giant net-wielding boat

<em>One half of the Falcon Heavy’s nosecone, or fairing, in Ms. Tree’s net</em>

After launching its powerful Falcon Heavy rocket this evening, SpaceX caught part of the vehicle’s nosecone when it fell back to Earth — the first time the company has ever pulled off such a feat. The structure broke away from the rocket in space and parachuted back to the surface, where it then landed on a SpaceX boat outfitted with a giant net.

The successful stunt comes after a year and a half of trying and failing to catch a nosecone after launch. But now that one has been recovered, it’s possible that SpaceX may use the structure again on an upcoming flight instead of building a new one from scratch.

The rocket’s nosecone, or fairing, is the bulbous structure that encases the payload during launch. It protects the onboard…

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