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GO Ms. Tree

Ms. Tree arrives at the Port of LA - Chuck Bennett

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 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.

Vital Statistics

Owner:  SEACOR Marine

Operator: Guice Offshore

Year Built: 2014

IMO: 9744465

Length: 62.5m

Width: 10.4m

Joined SpaceX Fleet: 2017

Full Specification Sheet.

GO Ms. Tree's mission debut with original net - SpaceX

Catch Time

Ms. Tree’s first catch attempt was made during the PAZ mission on February 22nd, 2018. The attempt was unsuccessful, with the ship missing by a few hundred meters. Elon Musk commented that equipping a larger parafoil to the fairing could slow it down enough to allow Ms. Tree to catch it.
 
Ms. Tree had a second opportunity on March 30th, 2018, during the Iridium-5 mission. Unfortunately, the fairing parafoil malfunctioned before the attempt causing the fairing to impact the ocean at high speed.
 
On the following mission, Ms. Tree reportedly missed the fairing half by about 50 meters but later collected it from the water as the fairing can float. This mission was the first time that SpaceX managed to retrieve both fairing halves from the ocean in an intact state.
 
In May 2018, after little success with catching a fairing half, Elon Musk announced that SpaceX would drastically increase the size of Ms. Tree’s net. After two days of work, SpaceX technicians had dismantled the old net and erected a new one that was four times larger, totaling an estimated 3,600 square meters.
Installation of new arms and net - Pauline Acalin

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.

The remains of Ms. Tree's arm structure being removed after the PSN-6 mission - Ken Kremer
It was nearly three months before Ms. Tree’s new net was fabricated and installed. The ship returned to service June 2019 where she finally made her first successful catch of a payload fairing half during the STP-2 mission.

Recovery Success

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.

Missions

MissionRole
Starlink V1 L11Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L10Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L9Fairing Recovery
ANASIS-IIFairing Recovery
GPS III SV03Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L8Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L7Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L6Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L5Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L4Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L3Fairing Recovery
JCSAT-18 / Kacific-1Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L2Fairing Recovery
AMOS-17Fairing Recovery
STP-2Fairing Recovery
PSN-6Fairing Recovery
SSO-AFairing Recovery
Iridium 7Fairing Recovery
Iridium 6Fairing Recovery
Iridium 5Fairing Recovery
PAZFairing Recovery
Iridium 4Dry Run Pratice
Koreasat 5AFairing Recovery

For the outcome of each mission, click here.