SpaceX to recover record-breaking booster’s engines
January 2, 2024
By Chris Forrester
A SpaceX Falcon 9 booster (#1058) made a record-breaking 19th flight – and landing – but was then partially lost during a December 26th 2023 early morning transfer back to port. Near-three metre waves and 25 knot winds and the subsequent rough seas toppled part of the rocket booster into the ocean.
Officials at SpaceX say that they will be recovering the booster’s nine Merlin engines for examination and potential re-use.
Indeed, some commentators suggest that Elon Musk should spend a few dollars and recover the other booster elements from the ocean floor near Port Canaveral and put the rocket on display.
“This booster should be displayed at the Smithsonian Institute joining the Wright Bros Flyer, The Spirit of St. Louis and Rutan’s Spaceship One, the Voyager and other great milestone ships. Reuseable rockets are such a space technology advancement,” said SpaceX watcher David Wine.
Its 19 successful missions were truly impressive, including sending two astronauts to the International Space Station. It also lofted more than 860 satellites — totalling 260+ metric tons — in its 3.5 years of service.
SpaceX, in its ‘RIP’ statement, said the loss in this fashion was not likely to be repeated as more recent boosters are supplied with upgraded landing legs and with the ability to ‘self-level’ once upon the droneship.