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SpaceX loses Falcon Heavy's center booster to the sea

SpaceX loses Falcon Heavy's center booster to the sea

Upgrades to the Falcon 9 rockets, which when bundled in threes are called Falcon Heavy, are said to make them reusable as many as 10 times with a modest amount of reworking between flights.

But as ocean swells continued to rise, wave heights caused the center core to fall off of the company's drone ship, dubbed 'Of Course I Still Love You, ' which is stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the Verge. Soon after, the vehicle fell into the ocean on its way back from the drone-ship owing to rough seas.

The Falcon 9 Heavy lifting off from the historic Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre."While we had hoped to bring the booster back intact, the safety of our team always takes precedence".

SpaceX doesn't expect future missions to be affected by the core's loss. Preventable hardware destruction aside, this should development should not detract from the critical fact that both side boosters - B1052 and B1053 - are safe and sound at SpaceX's Cape Canaveral Landing Zone (LZ), and should still be able to support Falcon Heavy Flight 3 without delay. They have a robot named "octagrabber" that apparently can't grab onto the FH center core.

After sending the Arabsat-6 telecommunications satellite on the first leg of its journey to geostationary orbit on Thursday, the three first-stage rocket cores went their separate ways.

'We have landed the center core for the first time, ' a SpaceX announcer said.

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Thursday's flight was only the second of a Falcon Heavy rocket and the first with a paying customer's cargo aboard.

The recovery was the easy part, it seems. Falcon Heavy's core doesn't have the same setup so it could not be nailed down.

Falcon Heavy Flight 3 is now scheduled to launch the USAF STP-2 mission no earlier than late June, with current information available to a major customer with satellites aboard pointing towards NET June 22.

The Dragon spacecraft are used as the final stage of SpaceX missions to resupply the International Space Station.

Separately, the two fairings that housed the satellite were also recovered. Of course, SpaceX has only had a handful of days with its recovered Block 5 side boosters, the refurbishment of which will now be the critical path for launch.