Fourth time’s a charm. On Friday night, SpaceX finally launched SES-9. The mission was delayed three times before, but with clear skies and no other hiccups, the Falcon 9 rocket finally went up into space to carry the SES-9 communications satellite up into orbit.
The landing didn’t go so well: The rocket “landed hard” on the SpaceX droneship. As was the case during the botched January 17 landing, the video feed on the floating landing pad in the Pacific Ocean cut out as the rocket was landing.
“Rocket landed hard on the droneship,” SpaceX Founder Elon Musk posted to his Twitter. “Didn’t expect this one to work (v hot reentry), but next flight has a good chance.”
So far there’s been no video posted of the hard landing of the uncrewed rocket.
SpaceX and Musk went so far as to admit the odds were against them before the launch.
The reasons the launch was previously aborted:
- February 28: A stray boat moseyed over into the rocket’s “keep out” safety zone. The delay in the launch overheated the Falcon 9’s engines and forced the launch team to abort.
- February 25: The same problem.
- February 24: The loading of the liquid oxygen propellent into the rocket during the launch sequence experienced a problem.
We’ll have more about the Falcon 9 landing as more information becomes available.
Musk posted on Instgram the video of exactly what happened the last time it tried to land on a droneship:
This time, let’s hope for the best!
On Friday night, Musk was positive about the launch: