SpaceX successfully landed the center of its Falcon Heavy rocket on a drone ship last week, but the vehicle accidentally fell into the ocean as it traveled to the coast of Florida. The company blamed the loss for the rough seas.
"Over the weekend, the SpaceX recovery team failed to secure the Center Core Booster for the return to Port Canaveral," SpaceX said in a statement The edge, As the conditions worsened by eight to ten feet, the booster began to shift and eventually could not stay upright. While we had hoped to get the booster back in order, the safety of our team always has priority. We do not expect future missions to be affected. "
The middle core is a modified Falcon 9 booster – one of three that make up the Falcon Heavy rocket. This core flew on Thursday, April 11, during the Falcon Heavy's second flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The flight was the first time that the rocket had flown more than a year since debuting in February 2018, as well as its first commercial mission for the vehicle.
After landing, all three cores of the rocket landed successfully on Earth: The two outer cores landed on two concrete landing pads at the Cape, while the middle core landed on the drone ship of the company Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic. It was the first time SpaceX had made a triple landing. During the first Falcon Heavy During the flight, the outer cores landed well, but the central core missed the drone ship completely and rammed into the sea.
Now it seems the ocean has once again defeated the middle core of Falcon Heavy. SpaceX has the ability to secure the rockets that land in the ocean, including a robot known as the Octagrabber, which snaps into place at the base of the boosters. Since the center core is connected to two side amplifiers, it differs from a normal Falcon 9 amplifier. So the octagrabber can not hold on in the same way.
SpaceX has another Falcon Heavy mission this summer in Florida, which will use a brand new center core and the two outer cores that landed last week. SpaceX plans to use the Octagrabber for this mission. Maybe the company will have some time to update the robot to stay at the core of the center, or perhaps calmer seas will be more conducive to transporting rockets.