Following a successful rocket landing on May 6th by commercial United States-based space company SpaceX, CEO Elon Musk has made it known that the rocket the company landed would not be getting used again.
Unlike the first successful landed rocket, which would be stored away because it was a sentimental object to the company, May 6th’s rocket will be shelved because it apparently sustained maximum damage during its landing.
The rocket was used to transport a large telecommunications satellite into space, and doing so requires a lot of fuel. So much, in fact, that Musk had his doubts that the landing would even work due to a low fuel supply and the hot landing.
Nevertheless, the landing worked, but at the cost of a rocket.
The heat generated by the booster to make the landing has reportedly overheated the components used inside of the rocket’s propulsion system, and it wouldn’t be safe or feasible to deploy again.
“Most recent rocket took max damage, due to very high entry velocity,” Musk said on Twitter.
Most recent rocket took max damage, due to v high entry velocity. Will be our life leader for ground tests to confirm others are good.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 15, 2016
Nevertheless, it’s not a total loss, because it provides SpaceX with important data they need to know about to improve their technology in the future.
Musk even goes on to say that this rocket will make a good “life leader” to ensure other rockets are built to snuff and capable of the job. In other words, it made an excellent benchmark test so that SpaceX knows where they’re at.
The company is expected to launch yet another rocket in May where it will take yet another satellite into space. SpaceX will then attempt yet another high-speed landing similar to the May 6th one, but with some tweaked physics.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest.
Source: Discovery News, Elon Musk