After all, SpaceX may have made landing a rocket on an oceangoing, remote-controlled ships seem routine - the failed attempt to land Falcon Heavy's main booster was the first unsuccessful landing in about 19 months - but it's still a big, fiery rocket landing on a floating platform. The presence of a second drone ship will give SpaceX much more flexibility in plotting out future Falcon Heavy launches and recoveries, with it then possible to have the side boosters land at sea simultaneously. The name is presumably meant to honor the spacecraft in Iain M Banks' novels "Look to Windward" and "Matter" that was called "Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall". Musk, the founder and CEO of the West Coast-based rocket company SpaceX, took to Twitter yesterday to casually mention how a third drone ship is now under construction for the Space Coast. Musk said Monday that there wasn't enough ignition fluid to light the outer two engines of the booster "after several three engine relights". On Feb. 6, the Falcon Heavy's maiden launch captured the attention of people everywhere.
During the minutes leading up to the launch of the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX briefly touched on the Roadster's extra payload, though very little was said about the storage device's contents.
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Eventually, Musk hopes that Falcon Heavy will be able to take humans to Mars, and is aiming to put a person on the red planet as soon as 2024.
The fix, he said, was "pretty obvious". The plan was for the core to execute three engine burns to fly down to the company's drone ship for an ocean landing. He tweeted that the addition of A Shortfall Of Gravitas would also support busier flight schedules for Falcon 9. According to Musk, the rocket's central core missed the ship by about 300 feet, but the force of the wave made from the impact managed to damage two of the engines on the ship.
In the meantime, SpaceX still has a full slate of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches on tap in 2018.