A commander’s lament on the lack of a historic SpaceX rocket

One of the most historic rockets in SpaceX's fleet toppled over Christmas Day on the return trip to Cape Canaveral, Florida, following its previous mission.

Enlarge / One of the vital historic rockets in SpaceX’s fleet toppled over Christmas Day on the return journey to Cape Canaveral, Florida, following its earlier mission. (credit score: LabPadre)

The Falcon 9 rocket that launched NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on SpaceX’s first crew mission in 2020 launched and landed for the 19th and closing time simply earlier than Christmas, then tipped over on its restoration ship in the course of the journey again to Cape Canaveral, Florida.

This explicit booster, recognized by the tail quantity B1058, was particular amongst SpaceX’s fleet of reusable rockets. It was the fleet chief, having tallied 19 missions over the course of greater than three-and-a-half years. Extra importantly, it was the rocket that thundered into house on Might 30, 2020, on a flight that made historical past on a number of counts.

It was the primary time a business rocket and spacecraft launched folks into orbit, and ended a nine-year hole in America’s skill to ship astronauts into orbit from US soil, following the retirement of the house shuttle. This mission, often called Demo-2 and launched by SpaceX beneath contract with NASA, ended US reliance on Russian rockets to ship crews to the Worldwide House Station.

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