On Sunday afternoon, SpaceX successfully launched the Jason 3 weather satellite into orbit. About 10 minutes after lift off the first stage of one of SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket headed back toward Earth for an attempt at landing on a drone ship floating 186 miles south of the launch site, in the Pacific.
Though SpaceX had planned to broadcast the landing attempt live, camera footage cut out seconds before touch down. But now, SpaceX founder and CEO has released the first video footage of the landing attempt on Instagram, which shows just how close the company came to a second successful landing today:
As you can see, the rocket touched down just as it should have. The only problem was that one of the landing legs, which help stabilise the rocket after landing, did not lock, and therefore, gave into the massive weight upon it. This caused the rocket to tip over, and upon impact, explode.
While this might not be an entirely successful landing attempt, it’s the closest that SpaceX has ever come to touching one of their Falcon 9 first stage boosters onto a drone ship. A feat that Musk says is critical to ensuring SpaceX’s reusable rocket fleet.
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