SpaceX booster accidentally falls into ocean after rough conditions

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from historic launch pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida U.S

This particular core flew on Thursday, April 11th, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, during the second flight of the Falcon Heavy.

The booster rocket had successfully touched down on the SpaceX drone ship - called Of Course I Still Love You - but came crashing down after the vessel was hit by swells of up to three metres (10 feet) on its way back to base.

And while SpaceX crew members tried to keep the booster steady during the trip home, that plan was aborted when the droneship encountered "rough sea conditions", according to the company. "As conditions worsened with eight- to ten-foot swells, the booster began to shift and ultimately was unable to remain upright".

'While we had hoped to bring the booster back intact, the safety of our team always takes precedence. "We do not expect future missions to be impacted", SpaceX told The Verge.

Even with the loss of the center core, it doesn't overshadow the milestone of SpaceX landing all three of the Falcon Heavy's boosters. SpaceX says it will make modifications to the grabber so future missions will be able to employ it.

While the Arabsat-6A Falcon Heavy core (B1055.1) may have been lost, it was not planned to be part of the STP-2 Falcon Heavy's configuration.

Sadly, despite the fact that all three Falcon Heavy Block 5 boosters did successfully land after the rocket's commercial launch debut, the accidental post-landing loss of center core B1055 takes a bit of the wind out of the sails of the whole recovery endeavor. A tweet by SpaceX boss Elon Musk suggests some parts of the rocket might be recovered and used again.

SpaceX has another Falcon Heavy mission this summer and will need a new centre core to launch it. This anomaly also serves as a bit of an abrupt reminder of just how hard the safe landing and recovery of giant, orbital-class rocket boosters really is.

The Dragon spacecraft are used as the final stage of SpaceX missions to resupply the International Space Station.

The payload fairings are clam shell-like nose cone halves that protect the craft's payload.

During its first Falcon Heavy launch in February 2018, the firm landed two of the firms side boosters simultaneously on separate launchpads.



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