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SpaceX Fairing Catch Suggestion

SpaceX is serious about reuse; not only to they land their booster rockets for later refurbishment and reuse, they also try to collect the payload fairings used to protect satellites during launch.


( SpaceX Fairing Catch )

It's difficult to predict where they will land, and difficult to maneuver a boat with a big net into position. I happened across a cool story by Ed Earl Repp published in Air Wonder Stories in 1929. Flight of the Eastern Star suggests that vast airships can be equipped with rescue nets to capture (in the case of the story) men using parachutes.

“Can you manage to get into port. No. 12?” he asked.

“I doubt it, sir!” the man wheezed, still coughing: “She's settling forward now, and she’s likely to plunge at any moment! Can you take on my crew?”

“All right!” Captain Markson returned, scowling: “I’ll do it! We’ll spread nets on our hull top, and lay-to right under you in one minute! I’ll take the chance with my own passengers for humanity’s sake! ’Chute your men through the safety tube and I’ll catch ’em in the nets. Hurry!”

The skipped yelled an unintelligible something, as the screen died. Captain Markson grabbed a telephone and yelled into it.

“Raise the rescue nets!” he bellowed: “And stand by for further orders!”


(Rescue nets from 'Flight of the Eastern Star' by Ed Earl Repp)

Thanks to @HumanoidHistory for mentioning this story using art!

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