A SpaceX rocket fell into the ocean after a record 19th space mission
December 26, 2023

A SpaceX rocket fell into the ocean after a record 19th space mission

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which successfully sent NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley on the first private flight to the International Space Station, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean last night while returning to Earth. She fell into the ocean after the record 19th space mission she performed for billionaire Elon Musk's company – SpaceX.

Falcon 9 was the first rocket in the company's fleet to successfully complete 19 consecutive missions, and launched close to a thousand satellites into space after the NASA mission. Her last launch was just before the weekend when she flew alongside the Starlink series of satellites.

The program of the same name, the Falcon 9, may in fact be one of the most successful in the history of spacecraft or rockets. These rockets are the first of their kind in the world, capable of lifting heavy loads into space, as well as vertical landing with the help of their propulsion. At the same time, since each rocket can be used more than ten times, the marginal costs for the company and its customers to launch cargo into space are also drastically reduced compared to if SpaceX had to build new systems for each new launch.

Falcon 9's fairly rapid reusability, aided by more rockets in the fleet, was one of the biggest drivers of SpaceX's success in building the Starlink Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite internet system. Previous attempts at such missions have failed because building rockets means longer flight booking times.

Today's rocket, or rather the Falcon 9 booster, which should now be resting on the ocean floor, was special because it was first launched in May 2020 when SpaceX launched the first manned demonstration mission in the space agency's commercial program. NASA.

After launching two NASA astronauts, the rocket then launched a South Korean military satellite, performed two missions for SpaceX and 14 Starlink missions. In three and a half years, this program has lifted more than 260 metric tons or 860 satellites and spacecraft into space.

Although this rocket achieved the company's record, there are three others that have successfully completed 17 missions each. Their last flight was this month when another military satellite was launched for South Korea, and that rocket was also the first to fly and land 14 times.

The company characterized the unplanned Falcon 9 mission as an accident. She shared on social networks that the rocket on the drone ship overturned after landing due to strong winds and waves, and says that changes in the mechanical design will ensure that similar incidents do not happen again in the future.