P1_5 Sinking Spaceships

Lisa Reed, Amber Fitzpatrick, Phoebe Vanderpump, Hannah Mahon


In this paper, we investigated the buoyant force acting on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster in the ocean if instead of landing successfully on the ocean platform, it had missed it’s target and sunk to a depth of 1000m and whether this force is greater than the rocket’s weight. If the buoyant force is greater than the rocket’s weight, it would rise to the surface and float allowing for easier recovery. We found a buoyant force of 7.4 MN (2 s.f) compared to a weight of 5.4 MN (2 s.f) meaning the rocket would float.

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