Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

SpaceX's Center Core Booster for Falcon Heavy Rocket Is Lost at Sea

SpaceX's Center Core Booster for Falcon Heavy Rocket Is Lost at Sea

On the second flight of the Falcon Heavy last Thursday, SpaceX rocketed into history.

Rough weather at sea toppled one of the three boosters used during the launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket last week.

Two of the boosters, landed off the Florida coast, successfully made their way back home.

Conditions only got worse after the recovery team loaded the booster onto the ship, with eight to ten-foot waves that shifted and kept the rocket from remaining upright, a report in The Verge said.

The Falcon 9 Heavy lifting off from the historic Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre."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, ' the firm added.

Musk tweeted Tuesday that a special robot created to batten down rocket boosters while they taxi to shore was not able to latch on to the Falcon Heavy core.

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. In the only previous Falcon Heavy mission to date, this booster missed the drone ship completely and slammed into the sea, so SpaceX is still making progress.

SpaceX's first successful commercial mission came off nearly without a hitch last week.

SpaceX tries to re-use rockets, payload fairings, boosters and other parts to try to cut down on the cost of each rocket mission.

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. It will be used for the next mission according to SpaceX.

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. Of course, SpaceX has only had a handful of days with its recovered Block 5 side boosters, the refurbishment of which will now be the critical path for launch. The side stages touched down at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Landing Zones 1 and 2 while the core stage touched down on the ASDS.

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