Formerly named Mr. Steven. GO Ms. Tree – often shortened to Ms. Tree – is a fast, highly maneuverable vessel that was chartered by SpaceX in 2017 to support their fairing recovery program. The ship has been heavily modified by SpaceX so that it now has a large net structure designed to catch fairing halves as they descend. The name ‘Ms. Tree’ is a pun of the word ‘Mystery’.
Ms. Tree was originally designed as a fast crew/supply vessel, serving the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico. In late 2017, the vessel was chartered by SpaceX as they continued the development of the fairing recovery program. Ms. Tree was assigned to Pacific Ocean operations and based at the Port of Los Angeles, California.
Owner: SEACOR Marine
Operator: Guice Offshore
Year Built: 2014
Joined SpaceX Fleet: 2017
Ms. Tree, with her new net, persevered throughout the rest of 2018 but was unable to catch a fairing half during a mission. SpaceX conducted numerous drop tests in an attempt to fine-tune the process. During these tests, a helicopter would lift a fairing to 10,00ft before dropping it for Ms. Tree to chase. These tests were reportedly not successful either.
With a lack of upcoming missions launching over the Pacific Ocean after 2018, SpaceX decided to move Ms. Tree to the Atlantic Ocean. The ship made the move in February 2019 and began operating out of Port Canaveral, Florida.
Ms. Tree’s first encounter with the Atlantic Ocean proved to be treacherous. Whilst traveling offshore for the PSN-6 mission, Ms. Tree encountered some very bad weather where waves managed tear off two of the four arms that held up the net. The catch attempt was abandoned and the ship returned to Port Canaveral for repairs.
First Successful Catch: Ms. Tree’s first successful catch was on June 25th, 2019, during the STP-2 mission. This was Ms. Tree’s seventh attempt. The offshore weather was noted as being optimal and the catch attempt happened a record 1350 km downrange from the launchpad.
Ms. Tree was again successful during the AMOS-17 mission on August 7th, 2019. The program has seen further success since then, but not consistently. SpaceX chartered a second fairing catcher vessel, GO Ms. Chief, in August 2019 to allow them to catch both fairing halves during a single mission.
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