Tuesday, 26 January, 2016

SpaceX Rocket Landing Failed: Here's What We Know So Far

Musk's car, rockets may be in our future
Emely Stone | 23 January, 2016, 11:04

So close, and yet so far: after successfully launching the Jason-3 satellite into orbit on Sunday, the SpaceX Falcon 9 main stage rocket nearly landed on the floating Just Read The Instructions barge.

SpaceX is still trying to flawless rocket re-landing in hopes recycling rockets for future launches and thus slashing the cost of unmanned missions to space.

Children prepare to take photos of the launch of Falcon 9 rocket near Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the United States, on January 17, 2016.

The mission of the Jason-3 satellite is to continue an unbroken record of more than two decades of sea level measurements from orbit.

SpaceX made aerospace history last month, when it launched a Falcon 9 rocket into space and brought it back to Earth in one piece, landing it upright.

"As we touched down, it was a slightly harder landing than we expected, and it looks like one of the landing legs may have broken as we touched down on the drone ship", said John Federspiel, SpaceX's lead mechanical design engineer.

The failed approach this morning is the third time SpaceX has attempted to land one of their reusable rockets at sea, each time with explosive consequences. In a video Musk released on Instagram, the rocket comes in straight, practically in the Centre of the barge, with all four landing legs deployed.

NASA graphic

Musk tweeted that this landing attempt was inherently harder than the previous successful attempt on land at Cape Canaveral.

Following lift-off, the rocket successfully headed back to its destination in the Pacific Ocean.

But a company official said the SpaceX video feed that the landing of the booster was secondary to the successful launch of the weather satellite, Jason 3, which was successfully hefted into a low Earth orbit. The latest launch was SpaceX's fourth attempt to land a rocket at sea.

Musk stated on social media a leg lockout did not latch, so the rocket tipped over after landing.

During a five-year mission, its data will also be used to aid fisheries management and research into human impacts on the world's oceans. The landing, however, was within 1.3 meters of the center of the drone ship the company said.

NASA partnered with several other organizations on the project, including two European space agencies.



Al Shabaab militants attack Somali army base, says dozens dead
The Friday attack by Al-Shabaab was one of the most daring and devastating incidents since the troops' presence in Somalia. Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism.