SpaceX's Mr. Steven: A Rocket Nose-Cone Catching Boat in Photos

Mr. Steven
Nestled among the many freight containers and fishing vessels is one of the newest members of SpaceX's recovery team. (Image credit: Amy Thompson/

Mr. Steven in Port

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Nestled among the many freight containers and fishing vessels resides one of the newest members of SpaceX's recovery team: Mr. Steven. got a look at the boat during testing on Aug. 13, 2018. Read our full story here!

A view of Mr. Steven Holding a Fairing

Amy Thompson/

On August 13th, Mr. Steven was spotted with a piece of a fairing in the net. SpaceX was likely performing tests to see how the net would perform with a fairing in it as well as testing procedures before its next attempt to catch a fairing.

Fairing suspended above Mr. Steven

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SpaceX conducted tests with Mr. Steven and a piece of a payload fairing on August 13. Here's a view of the fairing piece suspended above the net by a crane.

Fairing attached to crane

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A crane was used to repeatedly lift and lower a fairing half in Mr. Steven's net on Aug. 13, 2018.

Fairing Close-up

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A close up view of the fairing piece in Mr. Steven's net.

Mr. Steven SpaceX


Mr. Steven made its debut in February. Acting as a giant catcher's mitt, the vessel sports new upgrades that include four new outstretched arms and a bigger net that spans 40,000 square feet (3,700 square meters).

Net shot

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SpaceX was spotted conducting tests with Mr. Steven on Aug. 13, 2018 prior to the company's next West Coast launch, which is slated for September.

Fairing close-up tilted

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Mr. Steven's net looks like it can support the weight of a fairing with no issues.

Mr. Steven with bouncy raft

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Mr. Steven has an empty net following testing. Alss visible is a bouncy raft that the company may use to catch Dragon spacecraft in the future.

Fairing on dock after testing

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The fairing SpaceX used to test properties of Mr. Steven's net rests on the dock after the test is complete.

Fairing in the water


SpaceX is trying to avoid the corrosive effects of salt water by catching fairing halves before they touch the water.

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Amy Thompson
Contributing Writer

Amy Thompson is a Florida-based space and science journalist, who joined as a contributing writer in 2015. She's passionate about all things space and is a huge science and science-fiction geek. Star Wars is her favorite fandom, with that sassy little droid, R2D2 being her favorite. She studied science at the University of Florida, earning a degree in microbiology. Her work has also been published in Newsweek, VICE, Smithsonian, and many more. Now she chases rockets, writing about launches, commercial space, space station science, and everything in between.