Dramatic video shows the huge explosion that happened when SpaceX tried and failed to land one of its rockets on a floating barge.
Elon Musk’s private space company has tried repeatedly to drop its rockets onto a big barge in the sea so that it could pick them up and re-use them. But once again the landing went wrong, when one of the spacecraft’s legs broke in what the company calls a “hard landing”.
Video taken of the crash shows the explosion in minute detail. The footage shows that the landing was very close — the rocket appears to have landed perfectly, but slightly off balance, until it starts tipping over and then explodes in a huge burst of flames.
The company hopes eventually to be able to land the rockets safely every time, meaning that they will be able to be reused and allow space travel to become much more cheap. But for now that plan seems distant, since the rockets have crashed on the three times they have landed on Earth.
SpaceX had livestreamed much of the landing attempting on its website. But the video feed cut out just before the rocket came to the barge.
The company has tried twice before to land at sea. The first failed because the rocket landed too fast, and the second was hit by a problems because horizontal movement on the barge led the rocket to fall over.
Elon Musk tweeted that the company will have similar “rapid unscheduled disassemblies” — as the company refers to rocket explosions — in the future, but that it is making progress.
SpaceX’s trip was successful in its main mission, delivering a payload up into space.
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