Elon Musk Explains Why SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Core Booster Crashed

Screenshot from @SpaceX’s Twitter livestream

But those aren't the most distinctive - and definitely not the nerdiest - parts of Elon Musk's space fleet.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks at the International Astronautical Congress on September 29, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. "Just Read the Instructions" is in the Pacific for launches from Vandenberg, and "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic for launches from Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX intends to build a more powerful rocket than Falcon Heavy that could eventually send humans to Mars and beyond.

The ship appears to be named in honor of the fictional spaceship "Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall" in the science fiction books "Look to Windward" and "Matter" by the late author Iain M. Banks. Musk says that the core booster crashed when two of the three engines didn't fire during a landing burn. "Fix is pretty obvious". The core was structurally reinforced to accommodate the side boosters, but it was otherwise a standard Falcon 9. Instead of a gentle glide, it slammed into the ocean at around 300 miles per hour, just over 300 feet from the floating platform. SpaceX could try to capture a falling Falcon rocket fairing sometime this year, he added. Satellites have become smaller and lighter even while being more capable, so the big rockets probably will able to lift multiple new satellites at once, substantially reducing costs for companies for commercial payloads and taxpayers for military, weather and scientific satellites.

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SpaceX's secret Falcon Heavy payload is known as Arch 1.2, and it contains Issac Asimov's Foundation trilogy, a sci-fi series that discusses the preservation of humankind - a relevant topic.

When the most powerful rocket ever developed by a private company thundered off its Cape Canaveral launch pad last week, it announced a new era in space exploration and exploitation. At peak performance, the massive rocket can lift 141,000 pounds - equal to the weight of two adult sperm whales - into low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 on its demonstration flight.

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