While Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful rocket in operation, it still doesn't have the record for the most powerful ever built. Rather than landing on shore, the center booster was supposed to touch down on a remote droneship hanging out off the coast. After liftoff, the rocket's two side boosters touched down simultaneously on land, eliciting cheers and applause from the crowd of SpaceX employees gathered in the company's Hawthorne headquarters, as seen on the launch livestream. Musk, the founder and CEO of the West Coast-based rocket company SpaceX, took to Twitter yesterday to casually mention how a third drone ship is now under construction for the Space Coast. Regarding the damage to the ship, Musk said, "Not enough ignition fluid to light the outer two engines after several three engine relights".
Now that the Falcon Heavy has flown, more work remains to refine the rocket and develop its successor, the so-called BFR booster and spaceship that he hopes will one day be bound for Mars. The current SpaceX drone ship is based out of Port Canaveral and serves to return Falcon 9 boosters to port facilities in order to conduct post-launch checkouts.
The fix, he said, was "pretty obvious". Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, answers questions during a press conference following Tuesday's Falcon Heavy launch from Kennedy Space Center. But SpaceX says that it will not always use the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to land the two side boosters of Falcon Heavy. "A Shortfall of Gravitas" will be deployed in the Atlantic. "Its objective: "[To] support high flight rates for Falcon 9 and dual ocean landings for Falcon Heavy boosters".
SpaceX's secret Falcon Heavy payload is known as Arch 1.2, and it contains Issac Asimov's Foundation trilogy, a sci-fi series that discusses the preservation of humankind - a relevant topic. The time required to get into position, as well as the maximum three days, need to unload the booster from the barge are just too much for a fleet of only two such ships. The first test flight of that ship on a Falcon 9 rocket is also expected in 2018.
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