A day later, the internet is still buzzing with post-Falcon Heavy excitement. While the world’s most powerful rocket successfully landed its two side boosters, there was just one minor mishap: its center core crashed in the Atlantic Ocean instead of landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship.
Though it’s obviously not ideal, it seems Elon Musk is ready to make proverbial lemonade out of some very expensive lemons here.
“If we got the footage … that sounds like some pretty fun footage if the cameras didn’t get blown up as well, then we’ll put that up … for — you know — just the blooper reel,” Musk said in a post-flight press conference, according to Al Jazeera.
Musk explained that some of the return engines failed to ignite during the landing, causing the core to plummet into the Atlantic at about 300 miles per hour (482 km per hour). Ultimately, it was a pretty short miss, as the core clipped its target by about 300 feet. Unfortunately, the crash destroyed two engines on the drone ship and filled the deck with shrapnel.
Overall, the Falcon Heavy launch was a tremendous success. Even though the core didn’t make it back to Earth as SpaceX intended, hopefully, we’ll get an entertaining video out of it. After all, Musk seems to have a sense of humor when it comes to watching his rockets explode, as evidenced by past blooper reels.
This one’s playfully titled “How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster”:
The thing about rockets is that they are big and weird and unpredictable. SpaceX is well aware of this.
“It’s important to remember that this mission is a test flight,” the aerospace company wrote in a press release before the launch. “Even if we do not complete all of the experimental milestones that are being attempted during this test, we will still be gathering critical data throughout the mission.”
Overall, we’re happy things went (mostly) well for SpaceX. Now release that damn blooper reel, Elon!