SpaceX Drone Landing Likely Failed: Updated

Posted: Jun 15 2016, 9:43am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 15 2016, 10:10am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

SpaceX Drone Landing Likely Failed
SpaceX June 15 Landing

The Falcon Stage 2 landing on the droneship has likely failed.

SpaceX launch a Falcon 9 rocket this morning delivering two commercial communications satellites to Geostationary Transfer Orbits (GTO). The two satellites, Eutelsat 117 West B and ABS-2A, are operated respectively by Eutelsat and ABS.

Everything went as planned and the Falcon 9 launched at 10:29am ET from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

SpaceX attempted again an experimental landing on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship after the stage separation. The landing on a droneship has worked already two times.

This time the landing has likely failed. The video footage broke off after the drone ship started to shake and a lot of smoke blocked the view. The Falcon 9 stage 2 can be seen burning in the snapshot above on the left. The rocket stage landed not directly in the center, but appears to be standing. The video broke off after that. It is not clear yet if the stage kept standing and if it stopped burning.

It might have survived the landing, but we need to wait for more details from SpaceX. Today's mission briefing contained a warning that the landing would be extremely difficult.

We will update this report as soon as SpaceX will release an update.

UPDATE 1: SpaceX says in webcast that Falcon 9 Stage 2 has been lost. The drone landing failed! More details still to come. SpaceX still got lots of valuable data, despite the lost rocket stage.

UPDATE 2: Elon Musk just Tweeted about the failed drone landing: "Looks like thrust was low on 1 of 3 landing engines. High g landings v sensitive to all engines operating at max." He added a joke: "RUD = Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly :)," showing that the landing attempts are just a side project. The important thing is that the two satellite have been successfully delivered into orbit - another job well done.

UPDATE 3: Both satellites have been deployed into orbit by the Falcon 9 Stage 1.

In the meantime the main part of the mission continues as Falcon 9 Stage 1 is reaching position of payload release.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
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