The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that SpaceX put underneath DSCOVR was supposed to be recovered via drone ship after a soft landing at sea. However, dangerous conditions in the Atlantic will prevent recovery of the Falcon 9 that sent DSCOVR to space. “The drone ship was designed to operate in all but the most extreme weather,” SpaceX wrote on its press page. “We are experiencing just such weather in the Atlantic with waves reaching up to three stories in height crashing over the decks. Also, only three of the drone ship’s four engines are functioning, making station-keeping in the face of such wave action extremely difficult. The rocket will still attempt a soft landing in the water through the storm (producing valuable landing data), but survival is highly unlikely.”
Still, Musk assured the public that barring the high seas, the first stage of the Falcon 9 would have been recoverable. “Rocket soft landed in the ocean within 10m of target & nicely vertical! High probability of good droneship landing in non-stormy weather,” he tweeted.