In a new posting by journalist Chris Forrester at the Advanced Television infosite, he reports that SpaceX lost a core rocket on April 15th. The rocket fell overboard from its floating drone barge in rough Atlantic seas off Florida.
The rocket had formed the central portion of a three rocket assembly which launched Arabsat 6A last week and had landed on the barge in a textbook operation. The two side boosters, themselves in essence complete Falcon 9 booster stages, were successfully landed just a few minutes after lift-off from Cape Canaveral. However, the barge was waiting for the main rocket a few hundred miles down range and had to suffer through extremely bad weather in the days following the lift-off.
SpaceX, in a statement said, “Over the weekend, due to rough sea conditions, SpaceX’s recovery team was unable to secure the center core booster for its return trip to Port Canaveral. As conditions worsened with eight- to ten-foot swells, the booster began to shift and ultimately was unable to remain upright. While we had hoped to bring the booster back intact, the safety of our team always takes precedence. We do not expect future missions to be impacted.”