SpaceX fails to land Falcon 9 rocket, satellite launch successful
The rocket lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, carrying the EUTELSAT 117 West B and ABS-2A to geostationary transfer orbits.
Following the launch, the booster was supposed to land on the drone barge Of Course I Still Love You, but the video of the landing cut off amid smoke and flames.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the rocket suffered a "rapid unscheduled disassembly" on attempting to land, specifying that thrust was too low on one of the three landing engines.
Ascent phase & satellites look good, but booster rocket had a RUD on droneship— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 15, 2016
Looks like thrust was low on 1 of 3 landing engines. High g landings v sensitive to all engines operating at max.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 15, 2016
Upgrades will be made to the rockets in order to compensate for this specific problem, Musk added, saying they would probably be complete by the end of the year.
The setback comes after a string of successful landings on both a ground landing pad and the drone barge.