Elon Musk released a supercut of SpaceX rocket explosions with never-before-seen footage

Rocket landing explosion video spacex
A SpaceX Grasshopper rocket explodes in mid-air in August 2014 after an engine sensor failure. SpaceX/YouTube

These days SpaceX, the aerospace company owned by tech mogul Elon Musk, makes landing rockets look easy.

But it wasn’t always that way.

To underscore that point in a comical yet dramatic way, Musk has released a supercut of explosive SpaceX rocket tests.

“Long road to reusabity of Falcon 9 primary boost stage…When upper stage & fairing also reusable, costs will drop by a factor >100,” Musk said on Twitter early Thursday morning, referring to the company’s reusable, 229-foot-tall orbital rocket system.

His message also included a one-minute clip of a longer video posted to YouTube (which we’ve embedded below).

Since the company’s founding in 2002, engineers have performed dozens of tests — yet many of the attempts to launch and land these towering, fuel-filled machines ended in fiery explosions.

Today SpaceX has more or less perfected launching Falcon 9 rockets, dropping off customer payloads into orbit, and recovering the booster: the most expensive part of the rocket. But as Musk noted, the company is working on recovering as much fo the multi-million-dollar system as possible.

Over time, this could earn SpaceX billions and help open up a new era of spaceflight.

Watch SpaceX’s “How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster” video below.

The video is a montage of tests dating back several years, including some of the company’s Grasshopper rocket tests, and includes high-definition clips of never-before-released footage.

The supercut doesn’t show the June 2015, September 2016, and other Falcon 9 rocket failures that resulted in a loss of expensive payloads.

SpaceX plans to launch its biggest-ever — and reusable — rocket system called the Falcon Heavy in November, and follow up with crewed launches of NASA astronauts and other customers (perhaps even a moon mission) in 2019.