The two stage rocket of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launched in early December and failed on its first stage of landing, when the rockets booster rolled rapidly as it descended through the lower atmosphere, shortly after the live video feed was lost.
“SpaceX is awesome but nobody’s gonna want to buy anything from them if they don’t work properly; they need to fix the issues and then start selling,” junior Blake Lyerla said.
According to company founder and CEO Elon Musk, SpaceX already knows what went wrong with the landing attempt.
“Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so falcon landed just out to seas. Appears to be undamaged, and is transmitting data. Recovery ship dispatched,” Musk said via Twitter.
It is unclear exactly how the ship stopped its role, the change could have simply resulted in a landing leg being deployed early.
“The public was never in danger during todays landing attempt. Falcon 9 first stages are outfitted with targeting algorithms that keep them offshore until the very end of their touchdown sequences,” Hans Koenigsmann said during a post launch news conference with Space.com.
The Falcon 9 stage ones dont have backup systems to bail the malfunctions out in grid-fin pumps though this should change in the future according to Musk. Musk also said “All video will be released good or bad.” Musk later released the boosters first person view of the landing, and a video from a tracking camera,and it showed that the stage one stabilized at the very end of the landing attempt.
“Rather instead of landing it shows that the system overall knows how to recover from certain malfunctions,” Koenigsmann said to Space.com.
SpaceX plans to recover and reuse the booster and find out what caused the malfunction. This was the first malfunction by a returning SpaceX booster since February, and the other two boosters launched had perfect landings.