Remember last Friday when we told you how SpaceX managed to land and recover the three rocket boosters that make up the first stage of their Falcon Heavy rocket ? That was a big deal. Unfortunately, in the end, the enterprise was only 2 / 3rd successful, as the center booster, the one that landed on the SpaceX drone ocean-going landing pad named Of Course I Still Love You was lost at Sea.
Just landing a booster vertically after launching it into space is a big deal deal on its own; landing on a floating pad is an even bigger deal, but SpaceX seems to have mastered that part pretty damn well.
Normally, Falcon 9 boosters are secured on the barge through a large, flat robot with arms normally called Octograbber. It looks like a giant Roomba that could suck your whole house into its little dustbin:
The problem is that the Octograbber is mostly designed to work with single Falcon 9 boosters, or the boosters on the sides of the Falcon Heavy Stack. The main core booster is, apparently, designed just differently enough that the Octograbber can not grab the booster, which is at least partially why the booster was lost, something Elon himself confirmed on Twitter:
The other problem with this is That in a Falcon Heavy launch, at least one booster has landed at sea, since SpaceX only has two landing pads at Cape Canaveral. The center booster spends more time than the side boosters, so it makes sense to land it further downrange at sea.
Elon also Tweeted that the engines may be recoverable, but nothing is certain as yet:
Space travel is not easy, even in the parts that take place on earth. Hopefully Aquaman is enjoying his new rocket.