SpaceX released the amazing video of the Falcon Heavy's fairing as it returned to Earth shortly after the launch of the rocket. The fairing, which was part of the forward cone of the spacecraft, could be the same component captured by SpaceX using a giant net.
The Falcon Heavy rocket was officially launched for its STP-2 mission on June 25th. In partnership with the US Air Force, the objective of the mission was to deploy more than 20 military satellites in space. In addition to these, the other payloads of the mission included the atomic clock of deep space and the solar powered LightSail 2 spacecraft.
Shortly after takeoff of Falcon Heavy, the nose cone of the rocket, which protects payloads onboard or satellites, detaches from the craft and separates into two fairings. In order for the fairings to come in safely, they were equipped with parachutes and small integrated thruster systems.
in the video posted by SpaceX on Twitter, one of the fairings can be seen as it comes off the spaceship. For a few seconds, the Falcon Heavy can even be seen in the background while it is making its way into space.
When the cap returns to Earth and enters the atmosphere, blue flames begin to appear. According to SpaceX, this is due to the particles in the atmosphere after being heated by the friction due to the return of the fairing. Eventually, the entire rocket component is consumed, producing an incredible show of cosmic light.
Since the nose cone divided in two, it is not yet clear if the fairing was the same as the one recently captured by SpaceX. For years, the company hopes to capture components of its rockets when they return to Earth so they can be reused in future missions.
SpaceX struggled to accomplish this because the rocket components generally fell into the ocean, damaging their onboard systems. But after years of planning, the company was finally able to reach its goal by catch successfully one of Falcon Heavy's nose cone fairings as it fell back to Earth. SpaceX has achieved this feat by equipping a boat with a huge net.