Elon Musk Vows To Eat Boring Company Hat, With Mustard
Feb 14 2018
That core booster, which was expected to land offshore on SpaceX's drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You", crashed when two of three engines did not fire during a final landing burn, Musk told reporters after the launch.
Musk later revealed the third booster, brand new, slammed into the Atlantic at 300 miles per hour and missed the floating landing platform, scattering shrapnel all over the deck and knocking out two engines. While the Falcon 9 traffic is busier coming from Florida's Cape Canaveral than California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, Falcon Heavy could potentially launch from either location, as the base's Space Launch Complex 4 has also been redesigned to handle the bigger rocket's launches.
Landing used rocket cores and reusing them is one of the main selling points of SpaceX and one of the reasons why the company's CEO Elon Musk believes he can cut costs massively for each launch.
SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket soars into space on February 6, 2018 after a successful debut launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
On Twitter, Musk explained away the crash landing: "Not enough ignition fluid to light the outer two engines after several three engine relights".
It's not just Falcon Heavy that benefits, according to Musk. "Fix is pretty obvious".
Now that the Falcon Heavy has flown, more work remains to refine the rocket and develop its successor, the so-called BFR booster and spaceship that he hopes will one day be bound for Mars.
The 1.37 minute clip not only captures a picture-perfect launch of the world's most powerful rocket, but also the recovery of two side boosters in a simultaneous, controlled landing. The name is presumably meant to honor the spacecraft in Iain M Banks' novels "Look to Windward" and "Matter" that was called "Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall". Even the founder and CEO of SpaceX felt surreal that the Falcon Heavy's launch went nearly flawless and without any glitches.
Overall, the Falcon Heavy launch was deemed a success. Hispasat 30W-6, a commercial communications satellite, will be boosted to a geostationary transfer orbit.