SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster B1058 Topples Over At Sea

SpaceX lost one of its most reliable and notable Falcon 9 boosters, but not in the way you might expect. Falcon 9 booster serial number B1058 was victim to high winds and waves during transportation back to Florida during post-flight recovery after completing a record-breaking 19th mission.

This historic booster initially gained fame by launching NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley into space in 2020 on the groundbreaking Demo-2 mission, paving the way for a new era in space exploration. The booster, adorned with the iconic NASA “worm” logo, completed an impressive 19 missions, including satellite launches, cargo deliveries to the International Space Station (ISS), and delivering over 860 Starlink satellites and over 260 metric tons of cargo in just 3.5 years.

The final chapter of B1058 unfolded as it successfully transported 23 Starlink satellites into space before completing its last landing on the droneship “Just Read the Instructions.” Unfortunately, rough sea conditions during its voyage back to shore led to the booster toppling over, marking the first unplanned incident for SpaceX’s fleet.

According to SpaceX VP of Launch Kiko Dontchev, the company has already addressed the situation, highlighting advancements in newer Falcon boosters’ landing legs, designed to self-level and mitigate such issues. The company reassured the salvage of valuable components, emphasizing their commitment to minimizing waste and learning from every experience.

Jon Edwards, SpaceX’s vice president for Falcon Launch Vehicles, stated, “There is still quite a bit of value in this booster. We will not let it go to waste.” Despite the setback, SpaceX remains at the forefront of reusability efforts, with nearly 100 launches scheduled for the year.

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