Watch: Explosive Footage of SpaceX's Attempt To Land a Falcon 9 Rocket on a Barge
Last week, SpaceX attempted the next big step towards their ambitious goal of creating a reusable rocket capable of taking their Dragon Space Capsule into orbit. The aim of the test was to send the Falcon 9 rocket into space and bring it back down to Earth so it could land on a floating platform 200 miles off Florida's Atlantic Coast. Depending on who you talk to, the mission was either a failure or a partial success. The reason for this split in opinion is the fact that the giant Falcon 9 rocket did indeed hit its target, it just hit it too hard and at the wrong angle. Now, Elon Musk and his SpaceX team have released footage of the heavy landing, and the result is pretty darned spectacular.
"Close, but no cigar. This time" reads the caption, and although it may be hard to consider such a heavy explosion "Close" let me put this into perspective for you....This rocket is 14 storeys high, travelled 50 miles above Earth, and was guided back down to touch a platform the size of a football field. A FOOTBALL FIELD! Ok, so it came down at a bad angle, but this is a remarkable achievement especially considering most of the ship's equipment was left undamaged. With that in mind, it's easy to see why Elon Musk is feeling rather confident about the project's next steps...
Next rocket landing on drone ship in 2 to 3 weeks w way more hydraulic fluid. At least it shd explode for a diff reason.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 16, 2015