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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

SpaceX making third drone landing ship to support future launches

•, brian wang

Turnaround times could be even longer once the booster is offloaded in port, and the vessel is prepared for another trip to sea.

SpaceX has landed one of its rocket boosters intact on a drone ship 12 times in 18 attempts to date. The company is 11-for-11 in rocket recovery attempts on land, including the two Falcon Heavy side boosters that returned to Cape Canaveral after launch last week.

The two Falcon Heavy side boosters on the Feb. 6 flight returned to Cape Canaveral landing pads shortly after liftoff. The center core attempted a landing on a drone-ship a few hundred miles east of Cape Canaveral in the Atlantic Ocean, but the rocket ran out of triethylaluminum-triethylborane (TEA-TEB), a chemical mix used to ignite the core stage's Merlin engines.

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