2 Tuesday, April 16, 2019 03:40

SpaceX loses the Falcon Heavy's center core after it fell into the ocean

SpaceX says it lost the Falcon Heavy's center core after 'rough sea conditions' caused it to topple over as it was being transported back to the Florida coast. Elon Musk's rocket company managed to make history on Thursday when it landed three boosters back on Earth for the first time, following the Falcon Heavy megarocket's successful second launch into space.
 But as ocean swells continued to rise, wave heights caused the center core to fall off of the company's drone ship, dubbed 'Of Course I Still Love You,' which is stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the Verge. Scroll down for video SpaceX says it lost the Falcon Heavy's center core (pictured) after 'rough sea conditions' caused it to topple over as it was being transported back to the Florida coast'Over the weekend, due to rough sea conditions, SpaceX's recovery team was unable to secure the center booster for its return trip to Port Canaveral,' SpaceX said in a statement.
 'As conditions worsened with eight to ten foot swells, the booster began to shift and ultimately was unable to remain upright. '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. The core wasn't tethered to the drone ship, causing it to be lost at sea.
RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Apple set to spend more than $500 MILLION to build its... Why the 850-year-old Notre-Dame Cathedral is 'incredibly... Internet age really DOES mean we get bored more easily and... Elon Musk claims Tesla will achieve full autonomy by NEXT... Share this article Share SpaceX does have a mechanism, called the 'octograbber,' which is located on Of Course I Still Love You that can aid in the process of recovering rocket parts.
 The robot, designed to secure rocket boosters after they land, isn't capable of latching onto Falcon Heavy cores, so it wasn't used in this latest mission.  As the center core was being towed back to the Florida coast, it was knocked over by rough seas. There were 'eight to ten foot swells' in the Atlantic, as the above map shows SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket successfully took its second flight ever on Thursday afternoon, when it lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida SpaceX's next Falcon Heavy mission, slated for this summer, will use a new center core, so the loss of the core from last week's mission won't affect it.
 Additionally, the firm expects to put the octograbber to work during the upcoming mission, the Verge reported. Even with the loss of the center core, it doesn't overshadow the milestone of SpaceX landing all three of the Falcon Heavy's boosters. In addition to the center core's landing, the two side boosters landed back on pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Landing Zone 1 and 2.
. 'We have landed the center core for the first.....
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