SpaceX Booster Falls Over After Landing
SpaceX came close to recovering a rocket booster on a barge Sunday but the rocket fell over after a good landing. "At least the pieces are bigger this time," tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk after the exhilarating if ultimately unsuccessful attempt. Although the rocket hit the bull's-eye on the barge and seas appeared to be calm, one of the locks on the booster's legs didn't latch and the tube fell over and blew up. Musk speculated that ice that formed during a foggy liftoff prompted the failure. Last month, the company did manage to stick a landing on land at a retired launch pad at Cape Canaveral but this is the third time it has lost the booster on a sea-borne attempt.
Despite the recovery mishap, the company did accomplish the primary goal of launching a weather satellite that detects the rise and fall of ocean levels and helps forecasters predict nasty weather. The Jason-3 satellite was launched into a perfect orbit and is functioning normally.