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What really happened to GovSat-1’s Falcon 9 first stage?

13 Feb 2018, 02:12 UTC
What really happened to GovSat-1’s Falcon 9 first stage?
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The GovSat-1 Falcon 9’s first stage in the Atlantic after successful deployment of the satellite. Photo Credit: SpaceX
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A report stating that the Falcon 9 first stage used to launch the GovSat-1 satellite was destroyed by an airstrike has been categorically denied both by SpaceX and the U.S. Air Force.
“While the Falcon 9 first stage for the GovSat-1 mission was expendable, it initially survived splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean. However, the stage broke apart before we could complete an unplanned recovery effort for this mission,” said SpaceX spokesperson James Gleeson, in a statement to SpaceFlight Insider and other outlets. “Reports that the Air Force was involved in SpaceX’s recovery efforts are categorically false.”
SpaceX’s statement contradicts the initial reports that appeared on AmericaSpace, which speculated that the Hawthorne, California-based company’s Falcon 9’s first stage was disposed of by way of an airstrike conducted by the U.S. Air Force. AmericaSpace appears to have used information provided by several “trusted anonymous sources” when it claimed the U.S. Air Force had carried out the alleged operation to dispose of the stage.
AmericaSpace has since issued corrections and apologized for its earlier report.
It was later noted ...

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