SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket makes an unscheduled ocean landing
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Something unexpected happened after the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station—the first stage booster did not come back in one piece. Instead, it made an unscheduled landing in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the Florida coast.
At about 7 minutes and 25 seconds after the launch, the first stage began spinning out of control as it descended back toward Kennedy Space Center along the Florida coast. There was a problem with one of the grid fins that are used to stabilize the first stage during its return to Earth through the thickening atmosphere.
After 26 straight successes, SpaceX fails to land Falcon 9 it wa..
They cut from the rocket when it started to go out of control:
After seeing countless fails of Russian rockets I can't even find a words to express how impressed I am that SpaceX rockets are able to successfully land with such serious malfunction.
I'd hardly call that failed, considering it's still potentiall reusable...
I'd call that a complete success if I was playin' KSP.
with how softly it touched down almost definitely, the motor was still functioning and control was mostly recovered, but i'm sure that their software auto-aborts to sea in the case of any failure just as a safety precaution
seems like most people think this will be potentially be used for the in-flight abort test next year since they'll be ditching that booster anyway.
From what I understand, the computer aims for the sea by default, then when it's on final approach the computer does a self check and decides if it's safe to navigate towards the landing pad. If something is wrong(as in this case), it continues on track to the sea.
Unscheduled ocean landing for a crash has got to be up there with rapid unplanned disassembly on the list of colorful euphemisms.
Massive credit to the design, the fact it controlled its own spin and still executed a successful water landing is quite honestly, impressive.
Hope the internal launch is more of a scenario of "how many things can go wrong and it'll still land to be recovered" one, that'd be equally impressive to see if it can do this again.
that makes more sense as it's fail-safe. honestly the fact that they managed 29 landings in a row without failure and then this one is only a 'soft' failure is still impressive
It's unlikely they'll reuse it now though. Saltwater and complex rocketry don't go well together.
Elon's tweets, for whatever they're worth, say it might be reused on an "internal" mission. Probably Starlink (with ~200 launches needed, they have to expect a few failures, so another failure isn't really going to hurt them), or maybe just a "let's just go to space and see wtf happens" PR stunt. With no upper stage or payload, and in expendable mode, a current F9 first stage is theoretically capable of reaching orbit, they might do that just to "dab on the haters", as the youths say.
Oh huh. I'd figure a lot of the plumbing would be FUBAR.
So did I - which is why I initially suspected it was typical Elon-twitter dumbshittery. But it kind of makes sense. If they can get it out of the water fast, so it was submerged for hours instead of days, and wash it down immediately to get the salt off, probably do the full refurb they planned to do only after ten launches, it would probably work. And they'll need every booster they can to get Starlink orbited before their license expires.
And when you're making twelve fucking thousand satellites, who cares if one booster full explodes? At that scale, you're expecting multiple launches to fail even with a 99% success rate, and since they plan to basically run each booster to the point of failure, they'll be far from a 99% success rate.
It would definitely be a really cool story to see this thing fly again.
Towing it back.
If spacex really relaunch this rocket, its humorously a big middle finger all, but in such good intention. Do the same
Not only might it be in usable shape, but they might add a backup to the failed system.
doubtful it will be reused, salt water on hot rocket parts is murder. the point of reusable rockets isn't that you won't loose a few or that they will always be reusable, the point is that you've already sold that disposable product once and you get to resell it until it can't be launched again, hopefully making more money then manufacturing a new rocket each time.
I mean they're actively talking about reusing this one.
She's back on dry land sans a leg. Not sure if it was taken off and brought ashore, fell off, or cut of and sunk.
I expect this was how they planned to refine the landing system. Make nothing redundant, then let the failures tell you which pieces need redundancy more, and make backups for only those. That saves you the weight of redundant copies of things that never actually fail, at the cost of a couple failures while you learn what pieces are likely to break and which ones aren't.
Iterative design in the real world.
Only issue is, NASA demand a change freeze for launching crew. I wonder if they would allow adding a backup system if SpaceX can prove it will have no effect on the ascent systems?
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