SpaceX launched its fifth mission yesterday with high expectations. While not all goals were met, the launch was deemed largely successful, according to Space.com. On the plus side, 60 Starlink satellites were sent into orbit. However the attempt to land a rocket at sea did not go as SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had hoped. SpaceX is building a satellite constellation to provide satellite broadband access.
One of the things the Falcon 9 rocket attempted was the launch and recovery of its first stage in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” was prepared to coordinate the recovery, but an engine problem reshaped the launch.
“Our first stage successfully separated from the second stage, but unfortunately we did get confirmation that we were not able to land that first stage today,” noted SpaceX manufacturing engineer, Jessica Anderson. SpaceX expressed satisfaction with the Starlink satellite portion of the launch even though not all goals were achieved.
“There was also an early engine shutdown on ascent, but it didn’t affect orbit insertion,” Musk shared via Twitter. “Shows value of having 9 engines! Thorough investigation needed before next mission.” Watch the video here.