Recycling program, second stage; in other SpaceX news, see Elon Musk shows off SpaceX’s almost fully-assembled Falcon Heavy rocket (The Verge)
"A mysterious and massive piece of equipment was spotted by Redditor vshie early this morning aboard one of SpaceX’s fleet of leased ocean recovery vessels.SpaceX recovery boat spotted with huge claw-like
Captured aboard the recovery vessel Mr. Steven, the massive claw-like appendages are almost certainly linked to SpaceX’s payload fairing recovery efforts that have been ongoing throughout 2017. Despite SpaceX’s highly successful first stage recovery program, as much as 30% or more of the cost of every Falcon 9 launch can be found in the second stage and its many components that are discarded after every mission. Being able to recover the payload fairing, a major component of the Falcon 9 that costs approximately $5 million on its own or roughly 10% of the cost of a $62 million expendable launch, would lead to further cost reductions in commercial spaceflight."
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