SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Flies on Fifth Launch Attempt
Mar 14 2016
After the launch, SpaceX tried to land the first stage of its rocket on a platform floating in the Atlantic Ocean about 600km off the east coast of Florida. A camera on board showed what appeared to be a flash, and then went out.
The landing of the first stage lost transmission as the rocket returned to Earth, cutting out the feed playing in front of several SpaceX employees.
SpaceX'sFalcon 9 rocket successfully deployed its communication satellite payload, but it hit the landing pad too hard upon re-entry.
The company, headed by Internet entrepreneur Musk, is trying to ideal its technique of recycling rocket parts in order to make spaceflight cheaper and more sustainable. Once it gets to space, it separates, and a second stage powers on to orbit.
All of SpaceX's previous attempts at sea landings, which could ultimately create a fuel-efficient and cost-effective option for future space missions and travel, have so far failed as the landing area is smaller and the target ship moves with the ocean currents.
He wants to retrieve and refly boosters to save time and money, as usually, they just fall into the sea. This was SpaceX's fourth attempt to land the Falcon 9, the Verge reported. One of the rocket's four landing legs failed to lock out, even as the Falcon 9 booster made a feathery touchdown on the drone ship in high seas. The higher the altitude, the greater the velocity on return.
The SES-9 mission was already almost a year behind schedule, thanks largely to a failed Falcon 9 launch last summer and the introduction of a more powerful version of the Falcon 9. The hiatus in activity following the June failure means missions are backing up. It was the fifth launch attempt over the past 1 weeks; Sunday's try ended with an engine shutdown a split second before liftoff.
Wondering how Falcon 9's first stage will attempt to fly back to Earth on our next launch? Watch the action live in the window below, courtesy of SpaceX.
Just two months ago, in December 2015, SpaceX managed to land a Falcon 9 first stage on terra firma at Cape Canaveral, marking the first time this had ever been done during an orbital launch.
The Beoing-built satellite is owned by Luxembourg-based communications network operator SES SA. The wait caused the liquid oxygen in the rocket's tanks to heat up.
The launch firm has contracts worth more than $10 billion from commercial companies, NASA and other agencies.