SpaceX has released a video of the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket touching down on a floating platform during an attempted landing before toppling over and exploding.
It was the company's unsuccessful second attempt to land the rocket in an effort to develop a booster rocket that can be reused on future space missions.
During Tuesday's launch, the rocket successfully sent an unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station before separating and attempting to land on an unmanned barge. The barge, described by SpaceX as "an autonomous spaceport drone ship" was named "Just Read the Instructions" and floated about 322 kilometres off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla.
The barge called 'Just Read the Instructions' was floating about 322 kilometres off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla., when the rocket came in for a landing. (SpaceX)
Initially, SpaceX posted a seconds-long video on its Twitter account that shows the rocket firing and adjusting its angle as it approaches the platform. It rotates slightly counterclockwise to touch down on the centre of the platform in a cloud of smoke, but appears to keep rotating a little too far, leaning to the left as the video ends.— @SpaceX
A longer version that follows. Later, an unofficial version viewed from the barge was
Close, but no cigar. This time.— @SpaceX
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