‘A little toasty’ Space X Falcon 9 ends mission on FIRE


Video footage of the landing showed the Falcon 9 rocket’s base engulfed in flames and smoke as it landed on board one of the company’s autonomous barges in the Atlantic Ocean.

The feed momentarily cut out as the fire from the rocket’s base began to enter the rocket’s frame, but moments later it came back to show the rocket standing on the ship, its bottom part still on fire.

The fire was eventually put out.

Space X Lead Mechanical Engineer John Federspiel said: “A little toasty, but stage one is certainly still intact on the drone ship.”

Space X Falcon 9 in flamesYouTube

Space X Falcon 9 lands in flames

A little toasty, but stage one is certainly still intact on the drone ship

Lead Mechanical Engineer John Federspiel

Fire broke out after Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida carrying the Koreasat-5A satellite into space, where it will provide bandwidth to Korea and South Asia during a 15-year mission.

The rocket was launched at 3.50pm (local time) and returned to earth in under nine minutes.

The first stage of the rocket separated and headed back to Earth where it landed on the ship named, ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ which was stationed off the Florida coast.

The second stage stayed with the Koreasat satellite to power it to orbit.

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It marks the 16th successful launch for Elon Musk’s company this year – twice the number of successful missions compared with last year.

And it is the 19th time a Space X rocket has landed successfully at sea or on land.

Before 2017 Space X had launched mostly government missions for NASA and NOAA. But this year, 11 of 16 SpaceX launches have been for private companies or foreign governments.

Space X Falcon 9YouTube

Space X Falcon 9 in flames

It is likely that Space X will launch two or three additional missions in 2017, which would bring the company's tally for the year to 19 missions.

That total would be one shy of the company's total for 2014, 2015, and 2016 combined.

Billionaire Mr Musk hopes to reach his goal of creating reusable space hardware in an attempt to reduce the huge cost of space exploration.

In September 2016, a Falcon 9 rocket exploded during a test firing due to an issue Mr Musk said had “never been encountered before in the history of rocketry.”

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