SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully delivers its “all electric” satellite payloads but first stage explodes in landing attempt

by | Jun 16, 2016 | Launches, Satellites, SpaceX, Technology | 0 comments

At 1429 GMT on 15 June 2016 a Falcon 9 v1.1R rocket launched two Boeing 720SP satellites, Eutelsat 117 West B and ABS 2A, into a “super-synchronous” transfer orbit of 62,759 x 400 km, ready for their orbit-raising journey to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). The two spacecraft, which were stacked directly on top of each other for their launch, will use fuel-efficient low-thrust electric thrusters for both this orbit raising attempt and for their general attitude control. In this mode, it is estimated that both satellites will take a minimum of 200 days to reach their intended orbit. ABS-2A will take about a month longer than the EUTELSAT 117 due to its greater mass.

The secondary part of the mission involved the attempted recovery of the first stage down-range of Cape Canaveral, on a drone-barge called Of Course I Still Love You, but it ended in failure. Although Space X has had recent landing successes with Falcon 9 first-stages, which will eventually be reused, it was not to be for this “high-energy” launch. As the stage apparently fell towards the barge, one of its three engines developed a fault and was unable to provide maximum thrust. As a result, that stage did not decelerate in time and fell heavily on the pad, exploding on impact. Or rather, as Elon Musk, SpaceX founder and chief technical officer, put it in a tweet: it underwent a RUD (“Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly”).

 

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

SSLV failure cause: Violent second stage separation triggered chain of events which prevented SSLV final stage burn to stable orbit

The failure investigation set up by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) into the launch failure of the maiden flight Read more

Starlink Group 5-3 is launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9

At 0758 GMT on 2 February 2023  a Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 successfully launched 53 Starlink Gen2 satellites (Group 5-3) Read more

South Korea confirms shift of two missions from Russian launchers; Kompsat 6 goes to Arianespace and CAS500-2 goes back to international market

The South Korean vice-minister for Science, Oh Tae-seog, announced on 1 February 2023 that they had selected an Arianespace Vega Read more

SpaceX launches another batch of Starlinks plus ION-SCV9 delivery spacecraft testing separation system

A Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 was launched from the Vandenberg Space Force base in California at 1615 GMT on 31 Read more

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches Starlink Group 5-2

On 26 January 2023, at 0932 GMT, a Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 successfully launched 56 Starlink Gen2 satellites from Space Read more

Japan completes its first launch of the year of the radar reconnaissance satellite IGS RADAR-7

Kicking off its launch year, Japan has placed a radar reconnaissance satellite into near-500 km sun-synchronous low Earth orbit (LEO). Read more

New orders: Isar Aerospace, SpaceX, Raytheon, Advance Space, Clyde Space and Xplore

European launch service company Isar Aerospace and US-based Spaceflight, which offers rides to orbit for satellites, have announced a multi-launch Read more

NASA goes Nuclear Thermal as it plans to launch engine on DARPA’s DRACO project test mission in 2027

Nuclear Thermal rocket propulsion has been mooted since the 1960s. The idea is to use nuclear power to heat rocket Read more

Categories

Archives