SpaceX engineers have narrowed the cause of last week’s unsuccessful landing of a Falcon 9 rocket booster on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean on a commanding issue with an engine throttle valve, according to Elon Musk, the company’s founder and chief executive.
Returning to port late Thursday under the cover of darkness, SpaceX’s rocket recovery platform has moored at a dock in Jacksonville, Florida, for unloading of charred debris from Tuesday’s crash landing of a Falcon 9 booster.
Packed with an array of experiments and provisions, including a custom-made Italian espresso maker, SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo capsule reached the International Space Station on Friday after a precise laser-guided rendezvous more than 250 miles above Earth.
Hours after launching a batch of cargo and provisions to the International Space Station on Tuesday, SpaceX ground teams wheeled another Falcon 9 rocket into the hangar at Cape Canaveral for a commercial satellite launch set for April 27.
A sun-splashed Florida afternoon was the setting for Tuesday’s liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket, which fired its nine-engine booster stage and climbed into space with a commercial cargo spacecraft en route to the International Space Station.
A Falcon 9 rocket booster — under the power of a single Merlin 1D engine — descends toward a specially-outfitted ocean landing platform off Florida’s East Coast on Tuesday in a brief video clip released by SpaceX.