At left, a glow can be seen on the horizon just as a Falcon 9 rocket was due to land.
Enlarge / At left, a glow will be seen on the horizon simply as a Falcon 9 rocket was because of land.

SpaceX webcast

A Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Area Pressure Station on Monday evening carrying its payload of 60 Starlink satellites. After dropping off the second stage in a parking orbit, the primary stage reentered Earth’s ambiance for a rendezvous with a drone ship stationed within the Atlantic Ocean.

Alas, the rocket by no means made it to the boat. The corporate’s launch webcast included a video from the drone ship, Of Course I Nonetheless Love You, and a distant glow could possibly be seen on the horizon when the rocket was because of land.

“We did get slightly vivid glow… now not see a flame there… it does appear like we didn’t land our booster,” stated launch commentator Jessica Anderson, a producing engineer at SpaceX. “It’s unlucky that we didn’t recuperate this booster, however our second stage remains to be on a nominal trajectory.”

Payload made it

As Anderson famous, the second stage did carry out its job, in the end delivering the most recent batch of Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit. As the corporate continues to develop its variety of operational satellites above 1,000, it plans to increase Starlink Web service to extra of North America later this yr.

It’s not clear whether or not there was an issue with one of many rocket’s managed engine burns throughout reentry or a telemetry situation that precipitated the primary stage to go awry. SpaceX didn’t present any further details about the failure.

This was the sixth flight of this primary stage, B 1059, which made its debut in December 2019 by flying a Cargo Dragon mission to the Worldwide Area Station.

The additionally was SpaceX’s first failed touchdown since March 2020, breaking a streak of two dozen profitable launches and landings each at sea and at a land-based touchdown zone. The earlier failure occurred due to cleaning fluid used as a part of the engine refurbishment course of.

SpaceX had been because of launch yet one more Starlink mission as early as Wednesday morning, at 55 minutes previous midnight (05:55 UTC) from Kennedy Area Heart. Nonetheless, public notices indicated that launch could slip at the very least 48 hours, till Friday morning.

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