SpaceX's Falcon 9 reportedly survives a fall into the ocean after delivering a satellite into higher orbit

In a somewhat weird turn of events, SpaceX decided to not land its booster rocket after the Falcon 9 took off from Florida and instead let it crash into the Atlantic Ocean. This is highly unusual behaviour from SpaceX, who pride themselves on reusability of rockets to save cost.

Falcon 9 rocket. Image: SpaceX

Falcon 9 rocket. Image: SpaceX

Shockingly enough, the Falcon 9 has survived this fall and is floating freely in the Atlantic, according to CEO Elon Musk. In a tweet Musk claimed that this ocean landing was, in fact, to test its "very high retro thrust landing in water so it didn’t hurt the drone-ship".

Musk also said that SpaceX will try and salvage the rocket by towing it back to shore.

The Falcon 9 was successful in putting a satellite for the government of Luxembourg into high orbit around the Earth. SpaceX had made the announcement about landing the rocket in the ocean and not on its drone ship before the launch happened.

Falcon 9 floating in the Atlantic. Twitter

Falcon 9 floating in the Atlantic. Twitter

The Verge says that apart from landing on the drone-ship, the Falcon 9 went through all the stages of landing which included re-igniting the engines three times to gently land the booster back on to Earth's surface. It was pointed out in the report that the drone-ship may be needed during the launch of the Falcon Heavy next week.

In any case, it would seem that SpaceX did not expect the rocket to survive the crash.

As it is the rocket may be damaged due to the salty water, according to the report, and may not be usable again.


Published Date: Feb 01, 2018 13:13 PM | Updated Date: Feb 01, 2018 13:13 PM