Spacex has successful satellite launch but landing leg failure caused rocket to tip over

Spacex had a successful launch of the Jason 3 satellite but the first stage failed to latch a landing leg and tipped over.

The Falcon 9 rocket first stage experienced a “hard landing” and broke one of its stabilizer arms designed to hold it upright. The fate of the rocket stage was not immediately known, and there was no video footage of the landing immediately available, those officials said.

This was the third time the Hawthorne-based company failed to accomplish a clean sea landing, although the company brought a Falcon rocket stage back to terra firma at Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Dec. 21 in what many hailed as an engineering feat.

Elon Musk indicates that the barge landing is needed for higher speed launches where it is not physically possible to return to the launch site.

SOURCES – Twitter, Elon Musk, Spacex, LA Times