In our aSpIrM project we try to emulate the launches of IridiumNEXT with SpaceX. This of course includes keeping track of their new developments, e.g. the Iridium-6 rideshare. We solved this by launching a hosted payload, Tiny Shiny Guy, on aSpIrM-2. Next in line were SpaceX’s plans to recover their fairings. So we needed to come up with a strategy for this as well. Our awesome HR person, Freya, hired Mr. Steven Gadget. He’s an expert in vehicle recovery and quickly went to work.
He designed a device that would be able to catch not only the fairing, but the whole of our rockets upon landing. Why not only the fairing? Because our very own Boltonov has designed our payload shrouds in a way that they open, but do not drop. They stay attached to the rocket and come down together with it. Very practical!
Since reusability is huge not only at SpaceX, but at OxidanSky as well, Mr. Steven Gadget manufactured the vehicle catcher from recycled materials. Awesome! Further, Gadget decided to use physical efforts for his endeavors.
Here you can see him do a practice run:
It took a few attempts, but Gadget’s learning curve was steep. Watch him succeed on the first Elektra landing during our aSpIrM-2 launch fest:
We are now tempted to say “In your face, SpaceX, in your face,” but we don’t. We’re awesome and cheeky, but wer are not stupid. SpaceX is super awesome and we wish them good luck and great progress and success with their attempts to recover their fairings.