WASHINGTON — The center core of the Falcon Heavy rocket that launched a communications satellite April 11 fell over after landing in rough seas, but SpaceX said the mishap won’t affect upcoming launches. In an April 15 statement, SpaceX said that the booster core, one of three on the Falcon Heavy rocket, was unable to remain upright over the weekend because heavy seas prevented crews from securing the booster to the deck of the droneship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean. “Over the weekend, due to rough sea conditions, SpaceX’s recovery team was unable to secure the center core booster for its return trip to Port Canaveral,” spokesman James Gleeson said in response to a SpaceNews inquiry amid rumors that the booster fell over. The droneship has yet to return to Port Canaveral, the port next to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida where SpaceX hosts recovery operations for boosters that land at sea. However, even before the center core from the Arabsat launch was lost after landing, SpaceX had planned to use a new center booster core for the STP-2 launch.
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