SpaceX has not really made many headlines after the successful launch of the Falcon Heavey rocket. However, Elon Musk can’t stay out of headlines for long and is back again with the latest mission. The launch of the Iridium-5 Falcon 9 mission was carried out successfully on March 30.
There was one slight problem and that was not with the rocket itself. SpaceX had to cut the live feed during the launch due to restrictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Michael Hammersley, a SpaceX materials engineer, said, “Due to certain restrictions from NOAA, SpaceX will intentionally end the live video coverage of the second stage prior to the engine shutdown.”
He also added that they will be working on this in the future and ask NOAA to lift these restrictions so they can add live views from the orbit. The launch did not attempt to recover the first stage booster in the Iridium-5 mission. SpaceX did attempt to recover half of the payload fairing used in the launch.
This protective metal sheet used to cover the cargo costs $6 million itself. Elon Musk said that it would be easy to restore this part for future flights if their recovery plans are successful. Unfortunately, they were not successful in the Iridium-5 mission.
They failed to recover the fairing as the parafoil which controls the descent of the fairing became twisted on its return to the Earth. This resulted in the component crashing into the water at a high velocity rather than gently touching down on the barge as planned.
This part of the mission might not have been successful, but 10 satellites were successfully deployed to the Low-Earth orbit as planned and commercial communication to Iridium clients on the ground was established. This marks the 6th launch of 2018. SpaceX is going at a great momentum and these back to back successful launches will boost their confidence.
You can check out the video of the launch below: