Shortly after sending a reused Cargo Dragon spacecraft heading to the International Space Station (ISS), the SpaceX Falcon 9 Block…
Shortly after sending a reused Cargo Dragon spacecraft heading to the International Space Station (ISS), the SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 Booster B1050 experienced an anomaly with its net flanges during a planned landing, resulting in a shockingly soft (but inadvertent) landing just off Florida’s coast.
With some minor miracles, they were drastically off-nominal loads experienced by the booster during the unintentional deviation from controlled flight even into the bar of structural error. Although now a handful of miles moved east of Port Canaveral’s mouth, the B1050 did not make it through the damage process.
– TomCross (@_TomCross_) December 6, 2018  ] Just over 24 hours after the booster was floating sideways in the Atlantic, the B1050 float a solid ten miles south of its original position in water and airspace that no longer fell under the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, technically a military outpost. As captains of tugboat Eagle and SpaceX support vessels, GO Quest discussed logistics to return booster to port with the local harbormast and US Coast Guard, Teslarati photographer Tom Cross rented a local helicopter to get a slightly better view of the waterless rocket and its  A war accident (with the air)
Secondly, only the booster seems to be disproportionately good in view of the circumstances, the most remarkable feature of the newest addition to SpaceX’s marine fleet is the harm of the B1050 interstage, the black carbon fiber composite structure, which tops Falcon 9 Block 5 Boosters provides, hosts its network fineness and distinct separation mechanisms.
Closed from an air perspective, it looks almost like a side of the composite cylinder was crushed with a giant hammer who wore at least 20% of the entire interstage – including one of four titanium fibers – while another large segment is hanging with only partially figurative carbon fiber strings.
Falcon 9 B1050 is seen here just before launch with intact interstage. (Tom Cross)
The grid to the far right is – with all appearances – now at the bottom of the Atlantic. (Tom Cross)
B1050 seen from Cocoa Beach. (Tom Cross)
Falcon 9 B1050’s interstage, or what’s left of it. (Tom Cross)
RIP Gallery. (Tom Cross)
It is not 100% clear why the B1050 interstage was so easily destroyed but a story can certainly be deducted from the current publication. After the grid has lost hydraulic power and stuck at an extreme angle, the B1050 failed almost immediately and began to quickly and fairly brutally spinning and flailing, threw around as it slowed through the air at supersonic speeds. Falcon 9’s first stage is an exceedingly smooth cylinder, and is naturally inclined to rotate in the presence of high-speed air currents. Therefore, its galleries are absolutely necessary to maintain the control authority during flight operations in the atmosphere.
In a show that will turn on the stomach of someone familiar with a rocket’s usual narrow load tolerances, the Falcon 9 B1050 experienced extreme aerodynamic stresses under the worst of its uncontrolled tumor, to the extent that the entire booster and interstage can be viewed visibly twisting at least 5 degrees left and right from the perspective of an onboard camera . In the above video, focus on the center of Falcon 9’s flicker for the first and last 5-10 seconds to properly visualize the extreme forces being played.
It may look pretty innocent for the untrue eye, but keep in mind that Falcon 9’s interstage is no more than a few thick thick and is absolutely solid and reaches a 3.7m (12ft) diameter. Perhaps more importantly, the damage to the interstage almost undoubtedly made it unusable on the basis of SpaceX’s established methods to safely move and manipulate Falcon 9 boosters.
Techniques attach an older interstage gripper to lift B1046 after the first recovery. (Tom Cross)
One of SpaceX’s East Coast interstage jarges is pictured here on top of B1049. (Tom Cross)
A Falcon 9 Block 5 booster bares its interstage and pusher rod, which offers a perfect illustration of its scale. (Bloomberg)
All these methods depend on adapters attached to the intermediate side to elevate the rocket vertically or support a portion of its 30-ton dry weight horizontally. If there is no sound interception, it is now unclear how SpaceX can go to get the B1050 on land without damaging it further. In simpler terms, this contributes very, very badly to any plans to safely reuse the B1050 in the near future (or distant) future. After suffering loads as heavily weakened and ultimately tore its interstage into pieces, it is reasonable to assume that the rest of the rocket’s lithium-aluminum fuel tanks experienced stresses that are largely comparable.
If that is the case, perhaps the only real jump on the B1050’s “reuse” will be the recovery of some sub-components and various parts that may have done it by accident or with minor damage. The three remaining titanium fibers are a guaranteed recovery, while COPV, call gas jet, avionic boxes and maybe even some of its nine Merlin 1D engines can be rescued with some level of renovation.
Meanwhile, the preliminary plan currently is the two B1050 in Port Canaveral sometime after dawn tomorrow, either ending on drone ship OCISLY’s dock or another less developed part of the harbor.
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