The center core is lost - it hit the water at 300mph, after some of its landing engines failed to fire

The center core is lost - it hit the water at 300mph, after some of its landing engines failed to...

Elon said in his post launch press conference that if any of the booster cores were to be destroyed he would prefer it be the center core. The side cores have the titanium grid fins which he wants to recover. The center core is based on an older design which does not have the updated grid fins.

Interesting tidbit, the rocket is initially aimed to miss the barge. It's only if and when it has slow down enough for a safe landing that it's trajectory gets corrected.

I can’t lie, I really want to see the footage of the booster hitting the water at 300 mph.

Shame it didn't also make it but this is still an incredible success. I look forward to future tests and seeing how they hammer out any problems that arise.

Would also be cool if we get to see the possible video of the crash, for science sake :-D

I’m just here to say “titanium grid fins” again.

Titanium grid fins.

Okay, I’m done.

Well at least it hit the water and didn’t take out the barge.

I got the impression the titanium gridfins would only be used for FH launches because they're needed for landing with the nosecone due to the aerodynamic differences of landing with a nosecone vs with just the second stage separator.

He was relieved to get the titanium gridfins back because they were expensive and took forever to make.

Titanium grid fins are going to be on every Falcon rocket once the block 5 version is flying. Block 5 is a slightly tweaked and updated design meant to optimize for ease of refurbishment, and that includes the grid fins. Titanium fins will require zero refurbishment apparently, whereas the aluminum fins have always required repainting at least and total replacement at worst, having had whole sections melted off.

Gridtanium fin tits

Welp - should be good footage for the gag reel if the cameras on the drone ship survived. Still an amazing success even with the loss of the center core

Whatever it was, it's definitely a learning experience for them. They can use the data to get better next time.

Titanium grid fins.

Musk did say in the conference that there's some 'fun' footage. Hope we get to see it soon.

they don't think it be like it is, but it do

Well, most other rockets don't recover anything usable after launch so I'd say 2/3 here is pretty good ;)

A 300mph impact seems so... terrestrial when compared to the possible speeds it'd be going for other failure modes. It's like getting a speeding ticket for going 36 in a 35mph zone in a car that was designed to spend most of its time supersonic :P

If you're gonna lose a booster that's one hardcore way to do it, I'd write that as a victory

What kind of grid fins?

Not the worst problem to have. Better to run out of fuel than to find out your return guidance system was faulty or some other part of the landing system failed.

I'm no rocket scientist but that seems like a best-case failure scenario. For all the reasons to not land properly, not having enough fuel is a pretty solvable problem.

Unless every design decision and calculation you’ve made thus far involves exactly that size of tank*

I just assumed it botched the landing. You could totally see it as they were about to announce, someone off camera was definitely saying to the effect of "oh it didn't make it, WAIT DONT ANNOUNCE THAT HOLD ON." They both stopped talking, concentrated on their ear pieces, and then quickly tried to do some back pedaling with the "oh actually uh...well we're just waiting a minute for confirmation, and's a guy to recap everything we just discussed in detail for the last half hour." At that point you knew it wasn't a successful landing and they weren't going to say anything at the moment.

I do like the idea of guys at Space X furiously playing KSP trying to figure this out.

Oh man that sucks, I wonder what caused the engine to fail.

Only in 2018 can we have armchair rocket scientists complaining that we only had 2 of three boosters successfully landing on their targets. If this launch system lost the core booster every time it would still be a triumph of launch economics.

Design a rocket to meet the center core half way, match it's speed and refuel it. Like airplane refueling, but like.. rockets.

Before you get any crazy ideas, I just submitted my patents.

Sometimes da big true true different than da little true true

That's not how it goes on engineering projects. Usually they just put their hands on the back of their head, say "wtf dude?", and proceed to guess how to solve it with randomly placed boosters in KSP.

Like I say, people think the way it be is the way it is, but it isn't.

140,000 km on a single charge.

Next time we'll intentionally not fire the boosters, there's 2 ways to decommission a drone ship: there's the boring way, and then there's the Boringtm way

Yes but still... a Fucking Tesla Roadster in SPACE!!!

At the end of the livestream, you could still look at the droneship camera (center right), but the core never landed.

At the end of the livestream, you could (center right), but the core never landed.

If I remember correctly, he also said that since the center core was an older design, it wouldn't have been flying again anyway.

i wonder how much of this is true true and how much is pr and pleasing / attracting investors. guess there is no way to know.

Endgadget is saying that they ran out of fuel

Elon did say they were able to get some "fun" footage, so hopefully it is released soon

Man, it took me 4 tries to properly read the word "nosecone".

"God, I'm so disappointed that this rocket only landed 2 out of 3 of its boosters," he said, realizing how routine landing rockets has already become.

Well if it meets any engineering problems the next obvious solution is to build a 13-1400m high distribution tower. The tower will be equipped with a powerful pump to pump fuel out of a faucet towards the falling rocket. The rocket will then be equipped with a few hundreds opening holes on it's hull to suck in the fuel stream coming from the tower. The fuel retrieved will then be used for landing.

I mean it's a pretty simple technique and I feel the rocket solution would be more economic but we'll see.

300mph crash would do a fair bit of damage... Probably totalling it, and maybe damaging the barge too.

Dude that's ice. It's falling from near orbit back into the atmosphere. You see it in a lot of the landing videos. Especially early ones.

Hell, it landed 100m away from the barge, and still managed to shower it with shrapnel and damage two of its thrusters

What grid fin of kind?

Just needed more struts I think.

That someone decided to honor Iain M. Banks with the name of the droneship is still my favorite bit about SpaceX

That and their incredibly cool rockets ofc.

Or just program it to flip over and boost straight into the drone ship at max thrust. May as well go balls out.

Everything they do obviously involves that size tank, that's not going to change. Luckily there are a whole bunch of things they can do to conserve the bit of extra fuel they need that doesn't require changing the size of the tank.

Holy shit, you're hired.

I pronounce it like an Italian word.

Would also be cool if we get to see the possible video of the crash, for science sake :-D

Eh, maybe we can get something like this in the future

It did damage 2 engines.

Elon himself said before the launch something like, "I doubt it'll be a full success, and that's fine. We learn from failures." I'll try to go find the quote.