'Tipped over': Why SpaceX rocket exploded on ocean barge touchdown

LOS ANGELES - After successfully delivering a U.S.-European ocean-monitoring satellite into orbit, a SpaceX rocket made a hard landing on a floating barge in the roiling Pacific, breaking a support leg and toppling over.

See Full Article

SpaceX announcers said the first stage of the Falcon 9 was not upright after reaching the 300-by-170 foot landing pad in choppy seas about 200 miles west of San Diego on Sunday.

The rocket launched as planned at 10:42 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Los Angeles, streaking through a cloud-filled sky before eventually sending its second stage and a Jason-3 satellite into orbit.

The failed landing was a setback for the Hawthorne, California, company's plan to reduce launch costs by reusing rockets rather than having them fall into the ocean. Meteorologists predicted swells of 10- to 13-feet where the barge waited for the landing attempt.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk said on Twitter that the rocket's speed at touchdown was OK, "but a leg lockout didn't latch, so it tipped over after landing."

Two previous attempts to land a rocket on a barge in the Atlantic failed, but last month SpaceX succeeded in returning a rocket to a vertical landing at Cape Canaveral, Florida, after putting a cluster of satellites into orbit.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Climate change contributing to urban 'heat islands' raising costs for cities

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Heat trapped by dark-coloured roads and buildings will more than double cities' costs for tackling global warming this century by driving up energy demand to keep citizens cool and by aggravating pollution, scientists said on Monday. Source
  • Stunning display of northern lights captured by photographers

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Did you see them? You may have been tucked into bed or inside, but on Saturday night and early Sunday morning, the sky erupted in a stunning display of northern lights that many people were able to capture with cameras. Source
  • In Canada, parks thrive but conservationists cry foul

    Tech & Science CTV News
    On a highway in Banff National Park in western Canada, tourists hastily park their cars to catch a glimpse of a bear at the edge of the forest. "We've seen some amazing animal life up here, much more than a lot of other places that we've gone camping," Tony Garland, a 60-something American who drove up from Seattle, told AFP. Source
  • Human-made chemicals found in higher quantities in deep ocean

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Human-made chemicals are penetrating deeper into the North Atlantic, a new study has found. Remember CFCs? Production of the ozone-depleting chemicals was largely phased out globally in 1994. But almost 25 years later, researchers are finding them in increasing amounts in the deeper, "older" parts of the ocean. Source
  • 'O Canada': Researcher mounts microscopic flag on penny to celebrate 150 years

    Tech & Science CBC News
    It's the smallest tribute to Canada that you'll ever see. McMaster University research engineer Travis Casagrande has carved a microscopic, 3D Canadian flag on the face of a penny. The carving — which is one one-hundredth the size of a human hair and invisible to the naked eye — is meant to be a celebration of Canada's 150th birthday this year, and a showcase of the microscopes at the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy at the university. Source
  • No public memorial for Harambe planned as Cincinnati Zoo looks ahead

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CINCINNATI -- No public events are planned at the Cincinnati Zoo marking the one-year anniversary of the shooting of an endangered gorilla. The zoo's dangerous-animal response team concluded the life of a 3-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure last May 28 was in danger and killed 17-year-old Harambe. Source
  • If U.S. quits climate deal, Earth expected to warm dangerously

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming even sooner if the U.S. retreats from its pledge to cut carbon dioxide pollution, scientists said. That's because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. Source
  • Mother of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick killed in boat accident

    Tech & Science CTV News
    FRESNO, Calif. -- The mother of the CEO of the ride-hailing company Uber died in a boat accident Friday evening in Fresno County, the company said. Bonnie Kalanick, 71, died after the boat she and her husband, Donald, 78, were riding hit a rock in Pine Flat Lake in the eastern part of the county, authorities said. Source
  • G7 leaders agree to fight protectionism, U.S. still not on board on climate agreement

    Tech & Science CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to include a pledge to fight trade protectionism in a final communique due to be released later on Saturday at the end of a summit of Group of Seven leaders, a G7 source said. Source
  • Trapped 'like a caged animal': Climate change taking toll on mental health of Inuit

    Tech & Science CBC News
    As millions of Canadians eagerly anticipate the arrival of warm weather, many people living in Canada's North will be lamenting the end of winter. For the Inuit, milder temperatures mean the sea ice is melting, making travel more difficult. Source