The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral / AP

Attempt to land rocket on a barge after it flew to the International Space Station was ‘close, but no cigar this time’

Elon Musk has released pictures of the moments a SpaceX rocket crashed into the barge that the company were trying to land it on.

The SpaceX CEO released the pictures after prompting from the creator of Doom John Carmack, with Musk telling him that the pictures were “kinda begging to be released”.

The pictures show the rocket approaching the barge, as it failed to slow itself down properly and crashed at too much of an angle.

The rocket explodes spectacularly, but Musk referred to the event euphemistically as a “rapid unscheduled disassembly”.


The rocket was launched last Saturday, after being delayed from Tuesday. Even before launch, Musk and other SpaceX officials said that the mission was likely to go wrong.

The landing was set to be the hardest part of the mission, after the rocket took off and flew to the International Space Station.

The barge looks big from close up, but tiny when you're trying to land a rocket on it, SpaceX has said

Musk initially said that the company didn’t get good video of the “landing/impact”, and that the team would have to piece together the impact from “telemetry and … actual pieces”.