SpaceX has already tried to land its Falcon 9 reusable rocket on a floating ship in the ocean multiple times and, unfortunately, it has not been successful in those attempts. The company decided to try once again yesterday, everything went according to plan, well everything except for the planned landing on the barge. That’s because SpaceX has failed to do that yet again.
The company has already got a major milestone under its belt, it has been able to land a reusable rocket after its mission in space on solid ground, and that rocket has even been fired up to show that it’s completely reusable.
What SpaceX is really interested in doing is to land one of those Falcon 9 reusable rockets on a floating barge in the ocean, and it has so far been unable to do that. When it is able to do that it’s going to be a major moment for SpaceX, since Blue Origins hasn’t done it. Blue Origins beat it to a reusable rocket landing on solid ground.
The latest attempt didn’t go according to plan due to an issue with the Falcon 9’s leg-locking mechanisms which caused the rocket to tip over after landing, after watching the footage you can say that the effort ended up in flames, quite literally.
Technically speaking, SpaceX was able to land the rocket on the barge, it’s just that the lockout collet didn’t latch on one of the four legs, which caused the Falcon 9 to tip over after landing. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk mentioned that the root cause of this might have been ice buildup due to condensation from heavy fog at liftoff.
Even though yet another attempt has failed I’m quite sure SpaceX won’t be giving up this aim anytime soon, we can expect the company to continue making attempts until it’s finally able to do this.