Washington D.C. [USA]: The private space launch giant SpaceX recently suffered a setback when the earth-bound reusable first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket missed its floating landing platform and crashed into the sea.
The mishap on Monday (local time) came right after the launch vehicle successfully placed a new batch of Starlink satellites in the Earth’s orbit.
According to The Verge, this is the first instance since 2016 when the Falcon 9’s reusable first stage failed to nail its trademark landing on SpaceX’s unique floating drone ship platform.
However, it is not to say that the company had a flawless record. SpaceX has previously lost two centre boosters of its triple-core Falcon Heavy during two of its three total launches. Also, a Falcon 9 first stage plunged into the sea instead of touching down on the ground in December 2018 at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Moreover, in a dozen or so missions since 2016, SpaceX decided against attempting landings, usually during the missions that require the launch vehicle to reach high velocities.
It is not yet known about what went wrong on the day and the only thing visible on the live broadcast was a huge puff of steam or smoke, reported The Verge.
The landing rocket was nowhere to be seen in the frame which clearly means that it missed the drone ship by a big margin.