SpaceX’s Falcon 9 came so close to a first-ever landing of a reusable rocket on a floating platform. The footage shows the rocket making a near-perfect descent until moments before contact with the barge.
After the failed landing attempt, Elon Musk tweeted: “Looks like Falcon landed fine, but excess lateral velocity caused it to tip over post-landing.”
The Falcon 9 was SpaceX's third attempt to land a rocket on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean. The purpose of a stage landing is to save costs. “If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred,” said Musk. “A fully reusable vehicle has never been done before.”
The Falcon 9 did not explode in vain though. Prior to landing, the rocket successfully sent the Dragon cargo craft into orbit with supplies and equipment for the International Space Station. SpaceX plans to make another attempt at landing a reusable rocket, but next time it will be on solid ground, according to Defense News.