US fails again in landing satellite on drone ship

Washington, March 5 (IANS) US space firm SpaceX successfully sent a European commercial communications satellite into space but failed to land it on a drone ship, media reports said on Saturday.

The space firm failed in an attempt to softland the spent first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

SpaceX achieved one successful soft landing in December last year on a land-based pad at Cape Canaveral, but its three previous attempts to land the first stage on an ocean drone ship – in January 2015, April 2015, and January 2016 – all failed.

About one hour after launch, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Rocket landed hard on the droneship. Didn’t expect this one to work … but next flight has a good chance.”

The failure was not a surprise as SpaceX itself had little hope for the rocket recovery test, part of the company’s efforts to produce a fully reusable rocket.

SpaceX said a reusable rocket would dramatically reduce the cost of space transport.

Traditionally, rockets are designed for a single use only, burning up or crashing into the ocean after lift off.

The Falcon 9 rocket shot into the sky from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the US state of Florida, carrying a commercial communications satellite called SES-9, which would deliver television and high-speed broadband services to the Asia-Pacific region.

The rocket’s first stage separated about 2.5 minutes after launch and then performed a series of engine burns for an experimental landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast.

This time, the SES-9 was headed for the Geostationary Transfer Orbit, about 36,000 kilometres above the Earth, which required the rocket to fly faster than usual.

This made it more difficult for a landing after stage separation. SpaceX said in a pre-launch statement that “a successful landing is not expected”.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here