The SpaceX Blooper Reel Is Filled With More Explosions Than a Michael Bay Movie

Thursday, 14 September 2017 - 11:15AM
Technology
SpaceX
Thursday, 14 September 2017 - 11:15AM
The SpaceX Blooper Reel Is Filled With More Explosions Than a Michael Bay Movie
Image credit: SpaceX
SpaceX has released a fun look at its many, many, many failed attempts at making an upright landing with an orbital rocket booster, complete with silly music. This was before they mastered the complex art of managing a landing without something blowing up. Anyone who's ever accused modern movie blockbusters of featuring too many explosions should probably check this out, because these are 100%  real clips (and real fireballs):



It's surprising just how flammable orbital boosters are. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise—after all, rockets are just big tubes of incredibly flammable liquid—but it's fun nonetheless to watch such delicate things gentle tip over to one side, rest smoothly on the ground, and then shatter into an enormous explosion of liquid oxygen or whatever other fuel SpaceX is using here. The whole thing feels like a parody video making fun of Michael Bay's propensity to blow stuff up for no reason.

It's a bold move for SpaceX to even share this video of embarrassing failures with the world. Perhaps the logic here is to own up to mistakes, and to note that the issues in guidance and landing protocols are very far in the company's past (the video clips take place between 2013 and 2015). The Falcon 9, used for many commercial missions, has racked up an impressive number of explosion-free launches and landings. To date, the Falcon 9 has completed forty missions successfully without anything major exploding into a giant fiery ball of death, which is probably why Elon Musk is now willing to share this video with the world.

The music really makes it—"Look at all these explosions!" the video seems to say. "Haha, it's a good thing we got those out of our system!" Whether potential SpaceX customers will be willing to write this off as a whimsical look at how the sausage is made remains to be seen, but in the meantime, Michael Bay has probably found the perfect subject matter for his next blockbuster.
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