Monday, January 18, 2016
SpaceX Successfully Launches Jason-3 Mission, But Sees Sea Landing Failure
Hawthorne-based SpaceX, the commercial rocket launch company led by Elon Musk, saw a successful launch on Sunday of the Jason-3 mission for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), however, the company's attempt to land its reusable rocket on a floating "droneship" was less successful, when that rocket tipped over after landing--and exploded in rather spectacular fashion. According to Musk, the Falcon successfully landed on its floating drone ship, but tipped over because one of the four legs that support the rocket did not latch. Musk speculated the failure may have been due to ice buildup from condensation from heavy fog during liftoff. SpaceX had successfully landed the Falcon--on land--but has been attempting to land the rocket on a floating platform in the ocean.