Is this a late landing burn problem? it seems that the engine touch the OCISLY ground as the landing legs flex.

Landing occurs at about T+0:08:20

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    $\begingroup$ Might be nice to add a little more context, so that the question will still make sense in the future when they day is no longer today. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Jan 29 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime: We might need to wait some for that. The event is still being streamed, so one can't even link to a specific timestamp of the video. The landing did, indeed, seem harder than usual, but it seems more like the burn started slightly too early, and the engine had to cut off barely as the legs touched down, the whole mass of the rocket dumped suddenly onto the fully extended legs. (landing occurs at T+0:08:20, stream.) $\endgroup$ – SF. Jan 29 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see contact between the engine nozzle & the deck. Looking at the flex of the landing legs, my impression is that there was a smooth, elastic recovery of their position, implying no hard contact elsewhere. I may be optimistic :-) $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jan 29 at 15:35
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah just saw that as well. Not sure if the engine bell touched the floor though. Could it be a smoother suspension system? I remember they had a crushable honeycomb structure to absorb the shock. Wondering if they changed that. $\endgroup$ – pastullo Jan 29 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe because this time there is no interference in the video link? Maybe the legs always flex that way? $\endgroup$ – Guilherme Bechtinger Jan 29 at 19:33

Scott Manley talks about this landing in his most recent video presenting a 'time-slice' image of the landing - and concludes the landing burn was too early. Merlin engines can't be throttled low enough to provide slow descent, and as the booster stopped decelerating still above the deck, the only thing that could be done to prevent loss of the booster at that point was to cut off the engine, which caused a rapid drop and grounding it rather hard.


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