According to the flight plan that Elon Musk posted on Twitter, there's a section listed as 'Fairing Recovery', was this section successful? Did the Fairings get recovered?

Lovely edited picture of FH profile with the Recovery circled in red, as per tradition

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That plan was made by a random member of the public over at NasaSpaceflight.com. His inclusion of the fairing recovery was guesswork. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Hobbes included link to the tweet in particular $\endgroup$
    – CBredlow
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 18:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, Elon reposted a plan made by someone else. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Hobbes okay, just wanted to include the link just in case I had mistaken it. But I can understand that, he kind of does that a bit, so I should've taken it with a grain of salt $\endgroup$
    – CBredlow
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 18:43

2 Answers 2


The fairing recovery boat was just noticed in mid December last year.

So it's possible, but the way he discussed fairing recovery during the news conference, hours after the fairing would have splashed down, suggests that the fairing was not caught this time:

The black-T-shirt-wearing exec also described a new, unusual type of drone ship SpaceX is building that could be used to help recover Dragon and fairings (the nose cone that covers the payload on cargo unmanned flights).

"We've got a special boat to catch the fairing... it's like a giant catcher's mitt in boat form... I think it might be able to do the same thing with Dragon."

Looks like this, taken on the Pacific coast: Fairing Recovery Ship

It was not used in this launch. However the ASDS support ships have been collecting fairings when they land, and likely were at least out there looking.

It's unknown whether an attempt was made, and whether the main core splashdown affected the fairing recovery ship if a fairing recovery was planned.

I finally watched the news conference, here's the quote:

Fairing recovery has proven surprisingly difficult. I'm pretty sure we'll [solve/sort] fairing recovery in the next six months but it turns out that if you pop the parachute in the fairing you've got this giant awkward thing it tends to interfere with the airflow on the parachute and gets all twisty. Obviously it was a low priority too. Also we have fairing version two, that's the important one we want to recover, so even if we recovered fairing version one that wouldn't be - we wouldn't be reflying it in the future. So fairing two and recovery that's very important and my guess is next six months we've got fairing recovery figured out. We've got a special boat to catch the fairing, just like a catchers mitt, a giant catcher's mitt, just in boat form it's going to run around and catch the fairing. I think we can do the same thing with Dragon.

About 26 minutes into this video.

It's safe to say it was not caught.

In prep for the PAZ launch (Feb or Mar 2018) it looks like Mr Steven got to show some net!

Nothing but net

And the good ship Mr Steven appears to have at least brought back the fairings, even if it did not get to use it's net.

First the landed fairing on the water that missed the net.

Fairing on the water after the miss

Then on the deck of Mr Steven when back in port we have the recovered fairing looking pretty good.

High and mighty fairing aboard

The other half apparently recovered as well.

Fairings other better half


From the post-launch press conference:

I'm pretty sure we'll have fairing recovery in the next six months. It turns out that you pop the chute on the fairing and you've got this giant awkward thing it tends to interfere with the air flow on the on the parachute and and miss.

I read that as no successful recovery for this mission.


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