It appears as if the SpaceX’s streak of good luck ran out yesterday after a long series of successful landings. The latest Falcon 9 rocket, of the Elon Musk’s space enterprise, crashed into the drone ship of the company.
The company’s feed of the mission cut out just as the Falcon 9 rocket was landing on the drone ship named, “Of Course I Still Love You”. The loss of transmission left the company, as well as the SpaceX enthusiasts and stakeholders following the progress of the rocket, clueless about its fate.
The rocket was seen standing upright, though just for a moment, surrounded by the huge clouds of smoke. Next thing you know, the rocket had tipped over and destroyed.
Elon Musk later addressed the issue of the crashed Falcon 9 rocket via his Twitter account and described the problem as:
“Looks like thrust was low on 1 of 3 landing engines. High g landings v sensitive to all engines operating at max. RUD=Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly :)”
The problem originated when one of the three engines of the Falcon 9 failed to produce sufficient thrust. The engineers of SpaceX are working hard and Musk estimates that they would come up with a fix before 2017.
Albeit it’s failed landing, Falcon 9 successfully delivered its payload, i.e. two satellites, into space.
Elon Musk was hit hard by the crash and tweeted:
“Landing video will be posted when we gain access to cameras on the droneship later today. Maybe hardest impact to date. Droneship still ok“”
He also reported that the drone-ship was safe and did not suffer from the encounter.
Recently, SpaceX has nailed quite a few landings on the drone ships. Among these, the harder landings were the ones involving the geostationary orbits and yet the company successfully met each new challenge. In the wake of the crashed Falcon 9, a few people think that it can be viewed as a blow to the company’s cause. However, each landing attempt of SpaceX differs from the last one because they love to experiment with new techniques and orbits. If anything, the SpaceX engineers try to learn as much as they can from each crash and emerge with a better, more precise solution.