Elon Musk’s ‘rocket recovery ship’ Mr. Steven extensively refitted ahead of satellite launch

Tech entrepreneur and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has had his ‘rocket recovery’ vessel, dubbed Mr. Steven, refitted with extended catching arms and an upgraded, reinforced net system ahead of the upcoming SpaceX satellite launch.

Musk, also founder and CEO of SpaceX, has commissioned Mr. Steven’s upgrades, which are now being tested off the Port of Los Angeles. The 62-metre (203-foot) exploration vessel has been trialling its new equipment at high speeds (up to 20 knots) ahead of the new launch.

The new netting, when positioned below falling rocket fairings, now stretches to 3,700 square metres – four times bigger than before. The aim is to have the netting capable of physically catching and recovering significantly sized parts of a rocket’s fairings.

Fairings – in the space industry – are detachable heat shields which protect the main rocket vessel during extreme temperatures in the launch phase. These are manufactured over a lengthy period of time and cost enormous sums to produce – the aim is to reuse the recaptured fairings on further launches, with the outlay of this refit to Mr. Steven expected to be minimal compared to the savings on replacing fairings.

SpaceX is reportedly aiming to launch up to 24 rockets in 2019.

To see the new system in action, check out this recent video.


Yachting News
June 17, 2022
Tried & Tested: Best Water Toys 2022
Tried & Tested: Best Water Toys 2022

In our 2022 Tried & Tested, yacht toy specialist EAMS and a group of captains and crew review a selection of the very best luxury water toys on the market. Find out which toy was crowned the winner...

By Hannah Rankine
March 12, 2021
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Crew Polo Shirts
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Crew Polo Shirts

In this Tried & Tested, clothing specialist Sea Design conducts a review into the best yacht crew polo shirts on the market. Which garment comes out on top when put to the test? Find out the number one option...

By Nathan Bees
January 21, 2021
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Cleaning Products
Tried & Tested: Best Yacht Cleaning Products

In this Tried & Tested, yacht cleaning expert Marine 16 Ltd and cleaning expert Judith Shaw rate and review some of the best cleaning products available to buy. Find out which product was crowned the best following rigorous testing.

By Yachting Pages

Finished reading? Now find your perfect supplier.

Search our industry-leading directory for over 20,000 superyacht suppliers, providers and marinas.

Search now