SpaceX Rocket Nose Cone-Catching Vessel ‘Mr. Steven’ Arrives at Port Canaveral After 5,000 Mile Trip

By  //  February 12, 2019

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berthed at Port Canaveral's north side after a 5,000-nautical-mile voyage

SpaceX’s rocket nose cone-catching vessel Mr. Steven has arrived on the Space Coast Monday and is berthed at Port Canaveral’s north side after a 5,000-nautical-mile voyage from the Port of Los Angeles. (Port Canaveral image)

BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – SpaceX’s rocket nose cone-catching vessel Mr. Steven has arrived on the Space Coast Monday and is berthed at Port Canaveral’s north side after a 5,000-nautical-mile voyage from the Port of Los Angeles.

Mr. Steven is a marine vessel being used as a platform for recovery of the SpaceX reusable rocket payload fairings.

The ship is fitted with four large arms which support an elevated horizontal net, similar to a giant trampoline or trapeze net.

It is named after Steven Miguez, the father of SeaTran CEO Blake J. Miguez.

The 205-foot-long vessel’s four large arms were taken down for the journey.

In July 2018, Mr. Steven was upgraded to fit a broader net with an area of 3,700 m2, four times the original net size.

The upgrade included fitting four new arms, which are each supported and positioned by two extendable shock-absorbing booms.

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Each arm can be removed and disassembled into six subsections. These four shock-absorbing arms replaced the previous rigid arms.

As a part of the SES-10 mission in March 2017, SpaceX successfully performed a controlled landing of the payload fairing into the ocean for the first time. SpaceX was able to recover the fairing half from the water after it landed, aided by attitude-control thrusters and a steerable parachute, gently on the water.

The company announced its intent to land the fairings on a dry flexible structure, jokingly described by Elon Musk as a “floating bouncy castle,” with the goal of reusing the fairings.

The cost of a fairing is about $6 million which accounts for 10 percent of overall launch costs.

SpaceX’s rocket nose cone-catching vessel Mr. Steven has arrived on the Space Coast Monday and is berthed at Port Canaveral’s north side after a 5,000-nautical-mile voyage from the Port of Los Angeles.

– Wikipedia contributed to this report

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