SpaceX's famous booster falls and breaks up in the ocean

The first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket broke apart after completing its 19th mission, capsized on the drone floating in the Atlantic Ocean due to strong winds.

A SpaceX rocket lifted off on Saturday, December 23, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, while carrying 23 Starlink satellites into orbit. After landing on the company's drone, the rocket, known by its serial number B1058, was being transported to shore when it capsized due to strong winds and waves. open Tuesdays on X (formerly Twitter).

“It is very disappointing and sad to lose Booster 1058,” said Kiko Dontchev, SpaceX’s vice president of launch. books On X in reaction to the news. “Tippi boosters happen when you get a certain set of landing conditions that result in uneven loading on the legs. High winds or sea conditions cause the booster to sway and slide which can result in worse leg loading.

It's an unfortunate end for the beloved B1058, the first Falcon 9 booster rocket to carry astronauts to the International Space Station. On May 30, 2020, the first stage booster launched NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft on SpaceX's first crewed mission. This historic achievement also marks the first crewed flight for NASA's Commercial Crew Program, and the first time astronauts have launched from American soil since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.

Since then, the booster has launched 860 satellites into orbit on a record 19 missions. “Newer Falcon boosters have upgraded landing legs with the ability to self-level and mitigate this type of issue,” SpaceX wrote on the X website.

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However, the company will not dispose of the broken parts of the popular rocket booster. “We plan to salvage the engines and perform lifetime checks on the remaining hardware,” said John Edwards, SpaceX's vice president of Falcon launch vehicles. books On X. “There is still a lot of value in this boost. We will not let it go to waste.”

Want to know more about Elon Musk's space project? Check out our full coverage of SpaceX's giant Starship rocket And the A huge constellation of Internet satellites from SpaceX Starlink. And for more space travel in your life, follow us X A custom bookmark for Gizmodo Spaceflight page.

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