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techkenyot.com April 23, 2019


Falcon Heavy center core toppled after landing

17 April 2019, 10:32 | Edward Lowe

SpaceX successfully tests Falcon Heavy rocket

Falcon Heavy again set for evening launch

On Thursday, SpaceX landed three of its booster rockets in one very impressive feat.

A SpaceX rocket booster that landed on an ocean platform after last week's launch has been damaged in rough seas.

The mission from pad 39A marked the first time all boosters from a Falcon Heavy rocket were recovered successfully.

SpaceX noted that the recovery team was unable to secure the booster for the return trip to Port Canaveral.

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"As conditions worsened with eight to ten foot swells, the booster began to shift and ultimately was unable to remain upright", the company said Tuesday. "The safety of our team always takes precedence".

SpaceX doesn't expect future missions to be affected by the core's loss.

SpaceX usually employs a system known as the "Octagrabber" to secure recovered Falcon 9 boosters on the drone ship's deck, but that system couldn't be used this time around because the Falcon Heavy core booster had a different mechanical interface.

SpaceX didn't provide any information on the status of the booster core, including whether it will be retrieved at all.

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After sending the Arabsat-6 telecommunications satellite on the first leg of its journey to geostationary orbit on Thursday, the three first-stage rocket cores went their separate ways. SpaceX has efficient robots created to recover its Falcon 9 boosters - the "octagrabber" - but the core booster had a different configuration that doesn't latch on to the base of any booster except the Falcon 9's (for now).

Falcon Heavy is reportedly the most powerful rocket in operation.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk says the engines seem OK.

Falcon Heavy Flight 3 is now scheduled to launch the USAF STP-2 mission no earlier than late June, with current information available to a major customer with satellites aboard pointing towards NET June 22. It will be used for the next mission according to SpaceX. 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.

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