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.
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.
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