The wreckage of the Falcon Heavy core booster that toppled over in rough seas last week has returned to port at Cape Canaveral. The top portion of the booster is missing, presumingly having sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic.
The core booster, designated B1055 was used to launch the Arabsat-6A on Thursday, April 11. Following a successful launch, the two side boosters touched down at Cape Canaveral while the core booster touched down on the droneship Of Course I Still Love You. The droneship was positioned in the Atlantic ocean father out than ever before, due to the particular requirements of the mission.
After the initial success of the touchdown, rough seas prevented recovery teams from boarding the droneship to secure the booster to the deck. Traditionally, a small robot referred to as the Octagrabber would remotely secure the booster. However, the robot is not yet compatible with the Falcon Heavy core booster. As conditions worsened, the droneship rocking in the Atlantic swell caused the 40-meter tall core booster to topple over.
#FalconHeavy center core B1055 tipped over due to rough seas. Most of it still remains on board #OCISLY, but the top half is gone. pic.twitter.com/YaxzmpVpd1
— Stephen Marr (@spacecoast_stve) April 18, 2019
Now seeing the wreckage, it appears that once the booster toppled over, the top half sheared off and likely sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic. Although the bottom portion was recovered, it’s unclear what, if anything can be salvaged from the wreckage of B1055.