SpaceX Reports on First Stage Flyback

SpaceX founder Elon Musk reported via Twitter, “Ascent successful. Dragon enroute to Space Station. Rocket landed on droneship, but too hard for survival.” The company is working to recover its first stage after launch, but that work is not a criteria for success with NASA’s missions to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. SpaceX also tweeted this photo:


13 thoughts on “SpaceX Reports on First Stage Flyback”

  1. I’ve followed your posts. Thanks. I live in Cape Canaveral on the beach and look forward to the launches. I saw this one, saw how it drifted at launch, and held my breath. Thankfully it kept going up. I understand that first stage retrieval/recovery is still an optimal business strategy, it’s still a good launch if nothing explodes. Delivery will be achieved.
    And to think that we needed monkeys to confirm that man could do this! Kudos to computer-controlled flight. No more high schools named after unnecessary supplies delivery.

  2. Congratulations on another excellent launch!!

    And oh – so close with landing the first stage!! Keep on trying – I can ‘t wait to see it touch down. What an amazing feat that will be!

  3. Ahhh….THIS close ( holds finger and thumb just barely apart…).

    The fails are OK, as they just make the inevitable victory just that more sweeter. Maybe next time.

  4. Way to go SpaceX. You will successful landing that ist stage but because of the motion of the ocean going up and down is there a possibility you might want to use a island out there somewhere. Nice work. No more dependence on Russian engines so they can blackmail us anytime they want to.

    Way to go!!!

  5. SpaceX, to stick the landing at least 90% of the time the first stage requires three elastic cables & pitons fired from points 4/5 the way up from its base. To offset the weight use only three landing legs. The cables must be inclined thirty degrees from the vertical axis and offset sixty degrees from the points of the landing legs. This will go a long way to cancelling lateral velocities, torsional forces, winds, barge roll and uneven firm ground surfaces. Good luck and all the best.

    1. Actually, they could just put such pins in the feet of the lander itself, so thet they fire and anchor themselves down at the moment of contact.

      Still, SpaceX reports that the landing was too hard, so that may mean a leg or 2 may have broken upon impact and it would have fallen over anyway. We need more landing results information to know one way or the other.

  6. i assume the droneship is stabilized as well as necessary to physically allow safe landing but i wonder if small variations in pitch and roll are a problem for the guidance system of the rocket.

    normally, if you are landing on solid ground, any change in the relationship of the rocket to any target beacon array is assumed to be a movement of the rocket and not a movement of the ground . . . if the rocket suddenly sees a 1° tilt it would assume that it was the thing that moved . . . and 1° from a few hundred (or thousand) feet up is a large correction to make!

    sounds like either the target array has to be stabilized to an almost immobile condition relative to the local horizontal (small vertical movements should not be a problem) or there has to be some signal from the droneship stabilization system to modulate the beacons so they appear not to be pitching and rolling.

    or you already thought of all of this and have another problem . . . if not, send a small check . . . thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *