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  SpaceX Falcon 9 fairing found ashore in Bahamas

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Author Topic:   SpaceX Falcon 9 fairing found ashore in Bahamas
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 32477
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-01-2015 06:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Three business executives vacationing (?) in the Bahamas came across part of a SpaceX Falcon 9 fairing that washed ashore. They shared their find with Elon Musk via Twitter.
We found part of your @SpaceX washed ashore in the Bahamas.
Musk replied:
Cool, thanks for letting us know. This is helpful for figuring out fairing reusability.
The men said they will be returning the GoPro camera and sim cards mounted inside the fairing back to SpaceX. No word on the disposition of the fairing itself.

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 06-01-2015 06:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do maritime salvage rules apply to this?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-01-2015 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 establishes that rocket parts remain the property of their owners until specifically relinquished by them, regardless of where they may land. Thus, the fairing is SpaceX's property until they declare they no longer want it. ULA and Arianespace have reclaimed similarly found fairings in the past.

stsmithva
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From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 06-01-2015 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could someone post a picture of a Falcon 9 to show where this came from? I assume this is a part that comes off before it leaves the atmosphere (since there are no re-entry burns).

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-01-2015 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to SpaceX, the fairing is from the DSCOVR launch on Feb. 11, 2015 the Thales Turkmensat launch on April 27, 2015.

SkyMan1958
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Posts: 525
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 06-01-2015 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by stsmithva:
Could someone post a picture of a Falcon 9 to show where this came from?
It comes from the top of the rocket. The fairings (there are normally two of them, each of them covering 180 degrees of the circular cross section of the rocket) cover the payload at the top of the rocket. The fairings protect the payload from the air "stream" at the top of the rocket, and make the top of the rocket more "pointed" (e.g. aerodynamic) to lessen drag. Oftentimes the fairings bulge out a bit from the diameter of the rocket as the payload oftentimes is a bit "bulgy" due to folded solar panels etc. The fairings are jettisoned when the atmosphere becomes thin enough that there is only nominal drag on the payload.

Here's a picture of a Falcon 9 with the fairings on the top of the rocket.

MarylandSpace
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posted 06-01-2015 08:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neat thread!

tegwilym
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From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 06-02-2015 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd like to see the videos from that GoPro!

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-03-2015 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX has agreed to retrieve the Falcon 9 fairing that washed up on the tiny Bahamian island of Elbow Cay in late May, SpaceNews reports.
"We are on a small island and there is no dump here," said Sherri Waddell, a part time resident who lives in the U.S. but owns a house on Elbow Cay with her husband. "Removing this trash will not be easy or cheap."

As it turns out, it will be both of those things, at least from the perspective of Elbow Island dwellers.

"A local man on the Elbow Cay saw this debris a couple of days ago and started making phone calls immediately," Waddell told SpaceNews June 2 via email. "He got a call back from SpaceX this afternoon, and they are sending someone to get it tomorrow or the next day. In the meantime, a group of local men moved it further up on the beach to keep it from going back out at high tide."

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 32477
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-05-2015 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwilym:
I'd like to see the videos from that GoPro!
SpaceX released this footage today, which seems to be from the fairing that was recovered:

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