SpaceX Falcon Heavy core rocket lost after toppling into the ocean

SpaceX launches the Falcon Heavy rocket on its first commercial mission

In anything short of quiet seas, massive, emptied Falcon boosters frequently end up sliding around the drone ship deck - ironically, one of the flight-proven side boosters that flew on Falcon Heavy's launch debut was nearly lost to (apparently) the same failure mode that has now either destroyed or ruined B1055.

The Falcon Heavy center core successful landed on the drone barge out in the ocean, but on the trip back to Florida the barge ran into heavy seas, and the rocket fell over and slid into the ocean abyss.

As the center core was being towed back to the Florida coast, it was knocked over by rough seas.

"Due to rough sea conditions, SpaceX's recovery team was unable to secure the center core booster for its return trip to Port Canaveral".

'While we had hoped to bring the booster back intact, the safety of our team always takes precedence.

Even with the loss of the center core, it doesn't overshadow the milestone of SpaceX landing all three of the Falcon Heavy's boosters. SpaceX plans to reuse the fairing and the two side boosters that touched down after the launch.

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Despite the center core booster issue, the Falcon Heavy successfully launched its first paid mission and deployed Arabsat-6A, a communications satellite that will provide internet services to people who live in Africa, some parts of Europe, and the Middle East.

'We have landed the center core for the first time, ' a SpaceX announcer said. Because the center core is connected to two side boosters, it has a different design compared to a normal Falcon 9 booster, so the octagrabber can't grasp onto it well.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk says the engines seem OK.

That note of optimism about future missions is because next time around, SpaceX has hinted that it will have a new and improved octograbber - the contraption that grabs and hangs on to the smaller Falcon 9 booster that SpaceX also recovers at sea.

Before Thursday's launch, it had been fourteen months since Falcon Heavy's maiden launch, when it blasted off to become the most powerful rocket in use today. He said SpaceX could use the fairing again on an upcoming mission. The two side boosters landed side-by-side at the former Launch Complex 13 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, several kilometers south of the launch site.

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