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"Close, but no cigar this time": SpaceX launch goes (more or less) to plan

A revolutionary attempt to land the craft’s leftover booster on an ocean barge did not fare as well as hoped.

THE SPACEX COMPANY has successfully launched another fresh load of supplies to the International Space Station.

But its revolutionary attempt to land the leftover booster on an ocean barge did not fare as well.

SpaceX’s billionaire founder Elon Musk said the first-stage of the unmanned Falcon rocket made it to the platform floating a couple hundred miles off Florida’s northeastern coast. However, the booster came down too hard and broke apart.

It’s the first time anyone tried anything like this.

“Close, but no cigar this time,” Musk said on Twitter.

However, he said the operation bodes well for the future.

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As of now, rocket launches cost hundreds of millions of euros or more — largely because the rockets are allowed to fall in pieces into the ocean after liftoff, becoming trash.

Musk wants to transform the industry by honing technology that would allow rockets to return to Earth intact for use again and again, much like the airline industry does with passenger planes.

Reporting by AFP and Associated Press. 

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Daragh Brophy

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