While last week’s news of the Falcon 9 rocket’s oh-so-close-but-not-quite landing attempt was somewhat disappointing to SpaceX fans and observers, Elon Musk isn’t giving up! The SpaceX founder commented in a pair of tweets on Saturday that they had determined the rocket’s crash was caused by a slower than expected throttle valve response. The latest event is part of a continued attempt by SpaceX to land a rocket on a floating platform — as opposed to crashing into the sea — in order to reuse it in future launches.
In addition to confirming the throttle valve response issue, Musk also revealed that they would be making another landing attempt two months from now. A follow-up tweet included a video of a Falcon 9 rocket’s test flight, with Musk mentioning that while the whole thing looks unstable, a proper throttle response can easily secure a stable landing.
While the rocket does look rather tall & tippy, a stable landing is no problem with proper throttle response https://t.co/B4Y6D4dpsc
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2015
Last week’s attempt saw the rocket slow itself enough to descend onto the platform in an upright position. However, due to ongoing momentum from swinging itself around, the rocket was unable to stabilize, eventually tipping over and exploding. The whole thing can be seen clearly in the video below.
This was SpaceX’s second attempt to land a rocket on a platform, with the first taking place on January 10th. In a similar case, the rocket came close to succeeding, but still ended in explosion after coming in too hard. With Musk maintaining a positive outlook, as well identifying the cause of the problems, hopefully SpaceX will achieve a perfect landing in the near future.