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December 29, 2023

D'oh! SpaceX Booster Goes for a Swim

Improved Versions of Falcon to Sport Improved Balancing Gear

SpaceX lost one of its Falcon 9 boosters, a 19-time launch veteran, off the side of its recovery ship among rough seas on Christmas Day 2023. The booster had soldiered on through 19 space launches, capping off its last one on December 23rd for a well-earned retirement. During the recovery process, the 135-foot tall fuselage, standing on its tail just as it does for launch, toppled over amid rising waves and increasing winds. The recovery barge returned to port missing a few feet of booster fuselage, but thankfully enough of the Falcon remained to provide some use to the company postmortem. The team will use everything left, which appears to largely be the most expensive, heaviest ge

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Ingenuity Copter Makes Longest Flight Yet

2,315-Foot Hop Breaks Records for Mars Helo

Flight number 69 broke all previous records for the NASA Mars Helicopter program, soaring above Airfield Chi for 2,315 feet. While in flight, Ingenuity got about 52 feet above the Martian terrain, with an average groundspeed of 22.4 mph. The Short flight took 135.4 seconds in all, adding another journey to its logbook on the precipice of hitting flight number 70. Ingenuity has been given a pretty steady series of goals, with each flight rounding out to about 700 meters. In mission 68, the little helo that could made it 2,304 feet in one hop, a goal that held true for mission 68, too. Mission 70 will aim for almost 130 seconds of flight time, at 6.5 mph, around 40 feet AGL, which will net about half

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