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Falcon Heavy core booster lost in rough seas after drone ship landing

15 Apr 2019, 22:21 UTC
Falcon Heavy core booster lost in rough seas after drone ship landing
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The Falcon Heavy’s core booster is seen moments after landing on SpaceX’s drone ship Thursday. Credit: SpaceX
The core booster from the Falcon Heavy rocket that launched Thursday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida tipped over in rough seas after landing on an offshore drone ship, SpaceX officials said Monday.
The Falcon Heavy’s core booster touched down around 10 minutes after the Falcon Heavy blasted off from Florida’s Space Coast, moments after the rocket’s two side boosters returned to landing onshore at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The on-target landings marked the first time SpaceX landed all three Falcon Heavy boosters. The core stage crashed at sea near the drone ship after running out of igniter fluid on the Falcon Heavy’s inaugural flight in February 2018.
But ocean swells rocking the drone ship, which SpaceX has named “Of Course I Still Love You,” caused the rocket to topple before recovery crews could secure the booster to the vessel.
“Over the weekend, due to rough sea conditions, SpaceX’s recovery team was unable to secure the center core booster for its return trip to Port Canaveral,” said James Gleeson, a SpaceX spokesperson. “As conditions worsened with eight to ten foot swells, ...

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