SpaceX Falcon Heavy core rocket lost after toppling into the ocean

17 April, 2019, 10:29 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • A close-up of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket during launch

The center core landed on a drone ship christened "Of Course I Still Love You", stationed several hundred miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.

For the first time, all three first-stage boosters landed upright following Thursday's launch of the company's Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket in use.

SpaceX can't retrieve the lost center booster, however, it aims to use the two outer boosters that touched down on land for Falcon Heavy's next mission, which will take place in a couple of months.

In an incredible accomplishment, the Falcon Heavy's reused side boosters landed smoothly back down to Earth on two separate launchpads about 8 minutes in.

Even though the triple rocket landing went smoothly, the center core unfortunately fell into the ocean and was lost to rough seas on its way back to the Florida coast.

Musk says custom devices to secure the booster weren't ready in time for this second flight of the Falcon Heavy.

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SpaceX is the only rocket company that safely lands boosters after launching orbital missions. "Engines seem ok, pending inspection", he said.

After liftoff, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the rocket's fairing halves - or nose cone that protects the spacecraft - were recovered and will be used for an internal mission known as "Starlink" later this year. We do not expect future missions to be impacted, ' the firm added. This was announced well before B1055's anomaly, indicating that SpaceX and the USAF are likely some combination of extremely lucky and strategically brilliant.

On Thursday, April 11 at 6:35 p.m. EDT, Falcon Heavy launched the Arabsat-6A satellite from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The three rocket cores are fixed together during liftoff and are created to break apart after launch and guide themselves back to safe landings: The two side boosters conduct synchronized touchdowns on ground pads in Florida, while the center booster aims for an autonomous seaborne platform, called a droneship.

SpaceX has another Falcon Heavy mission this summer and will need a new centre core to launch it.

SpaceX recovered a payload fairing for the first time in 2017.

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