Video and pictures

June 24, 2016 – 01:40 pm

spacex_booster_crash1Holy cow! Watch this amazing Vine video of the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster crashing as it attempted to land on a barge last week after a successful launch to the space station. Make sure the volume is up, because holy wow.

Amazingly, the booster slowed, found the barge, and was able to target it for landing (all autonomously, mind you). But then something went wrong at the last moment. The fins used to steer it ran out of hydraulic fluid. The booster tipped at an angle, and the engines couldn’t compensate. It crashed, released fuel, and exploded.

The Falcon 9 booster came in too fast and at an angle, leading to an overly dramatic landing.

Photo by SpaceX

A lot of people are calling this a failure, but as I said in my original post about the landing, it’s more fair to call it a near-success. Most of the procedure to land the booster went nominally, and now the cause of the crash is known. As Elon Musk points out, the next flight will have more of the hydraulic fluid on board, so the fins should continue to work.

"Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly" may have to become a new phrase in the lexicon.

I liked even better:

Next rocket landing on drone ship in 2 to 3 weeks w way more hydraulic fluid. At least it shd explode for a diff reason.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

This was a serious event, and I have no doubt it’s taken very seriously inside SpaceX. But the public sees this differently, and sees Musk differently, so these tongue-in-cheek tweets put a great spin on the event.


Source: www.slate.com

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