Last week private aerospaceSpaceX successfully planted the spent central first stage of the super-heavy Falcon Heavy launch vehicle on a robotic barge in the Atlantic Ocean. However, it was still not possible to save the stage. This is caused by the troubled waters, reports The Verge portal, citing the company's statement.
"Over the weekend as a result of strong excitementAtlantic waters, the SpaceX rescue team was unable to return to the port of Canaveral in integrity and security the main level of Falcon Heavy carrier. With a wave height of 2.5-3 meters, the accelerator began to shift from a floating platform and, having failed to withstand, collapsed into the ocean. Although we really hoped to return it to the whole, the safety of our team always comes first. This event will not affect future missions in any way, ”the company noted.
The central stage of the Falcon Heavy representsis a modernized version of the carrier Falcon 9 - one of the three that are used in the rocket super heavy class. Specifically, this stage, which is being discussed, successfully worked on April 12, launching into a geostationary orbit a new telecommunications satellite Arabsat 6A, owned by Saudi Accident, as part of the second in the history and at the same time, the first commercial launch of Falcon Heavy. The first debut launch of the carrier took place in February 2018. He was a test. With a payload in the form of a personal electric vehicle Tesla Roadster, courtesy of Ilon Mask himself, which was driven by a Starman dummy.
Shortly after starting last friday all threesteps (central and two side) successfully landed back. Side boosters made a synchronous landing at Cape Canaveral, the central one landed on the floating platform “Of Course I Still Love You”. This is the first time SpaceX has managed to make a triple successful landing of used accelerators. During the first launch, the side accelerators also boarded, but the central stage missed the barge and fell into the ocean.
Unfortunately, it seems that this time the oceanwater decided to "bite off" the best part of the Falcon Heavy. In general, for such cases, the barge has a special Octagrabber robot, which should stably fix the accelerator after landing. But since the main stage of the Falcon Heavy is a modification of the Falcon 9 and is connected to two side accelerators, its configuration is somewhat different from the stage of the usual Falcon 9, so the robot would not be able to fix it on the barge.
This summer, SpaceX has another scheduledlaunch Falcon Heavy. It will use a completely new main stage, as well as two lateral accelerators that flew last week. The company notes that this time they would like to use a robot. Perhaps by that time the company will have time to carry out its modernization. Otherwise, you will again have to hope for the absence of waves that can interfere with transportation.
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