Enlarge / Wednesday's launch of a Falcon 9 rocket went well. Landing? Not so much.NASA Something unexpected happened after the…
Something unexpected happened after the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station ̵
1; the first stage did not come back to earth as intended. Instead, the unscheduled landing began in the Atlantic, just off the coast of Florida.
In about 7 minutes and 25 seconds after launch, the first step started spinning when it came back to Kennedy Space Center along the Florida coast. There was a problem with one of the grid winters used to stabilize the first step during its return to the earth through the thickening atmosphere.
“Hydraulic break pump stalled, so Falcon landed right out to the ocean,” SpaceX founder and leading designer Elon Musk tweeted shortly after the rocket landed. “Appears to be undamaged and transmits data. Recovery send is sent.” Later, in response to a question about redundancy of this system, Musk allows “Pump is single strand. Some landing systems are not superfluous because landing is considered critical to security but not critical. Event we will likely add a spare pumps and lines. “
Despite the landing problem, the rocket completed its primary mission with greatness. After launching Wednesday afternoon from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first stage delivered spacecraft in orbit. The vehicle utilized its solar panels according to schedule and is shown on a rendezvous course with International Space Station later this week. The dragon transports 2.5 tonnes of goods.
Since a long period of experiments and mistakes in mid-2010, SpaceX has had a remarkable success with landing of its rockets on land and at sea. The last landing error of a Falcon 9 rocket the company intended to return to the coast or a sea-based drilling vessel occurred on June 15, 2016 under an assignment to launch two satellites to the geostationary transmission runway. After launching its heavy payload, the rocket ran out of fuel just before it touched the drone ship. Since then, the company has successfully landed 26 Falcon 9-first rockets.
As usual, SpaceX engineers will assess the problem and apply corrections for future missions. It is not clear how (if at all) this failure could affect the company’s launch manifesto. It has two more missions scheduled for this month, because it is not clear when SpaceX intends to reuse this first-step booster.