SpaceX Loses Center Core of Falcon Heavy Rocket at Sea

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy center core reached the edge of space, but in the end, it couldn't survive the rough seas of the Atlantic Ocean.
John Loeffler

SpaceX has lost the center core of the Falcon Heavy rocket after rough seas caused the booster to fall off SpaceX's autonomous recovery drone ship, Of Course I Still Love You.

Center Core of Falcon Heavy Lost at Sea

After its successful test launch last week, the center core of the Falcon Heavy rocket was lost as it made its way back to land when the drone ship carrying it encountered rough seas, as first reported by The Verge. Unable to remain upright, the rocket tipped over and fell into the ocean.


SpaceX said that the center core of the rocket was lost while in transit to Florida after the ship carrying it encountered eight to ten foot tall swells that resulted in the center core's loss.

“Over the weekend, due to rough sea conditions, SpaceX’s recovery team was unable to secure the center core booster for its return trip to Port Canaveral,” SpaceX told The Verge in a statement. “As conditions worsened with eight to ten foot swells, the booster began to shift and ultimately was unable to remain upright. While we had hoped to bring the booster back intact, the safety of our team always takes precedence. We do not expect future missions to be impacted.”

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Future Mission Still on Track

Fortunately, SpaceX has a second center core for its next test launch, so the loss of this rocket booster isn't going to upend the upcoming mission, and Of Course I Still Love You itself is safe.

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