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Video shows moment SpaceX rocket crashed down on ocean barge

The company hopes to hone technology so that rockets can return to Earth intact for use again.
Jan 16th 2015, 6:39 PM 16,298 11

THE SPACEX COMPANY has just released footage of the moment a rocket successfully reached an ocean barge after it helped launch a fresh load of supplies to the International Space Station.

It was the first time anyone ever tried anything like landing the leftover booster on a floating barge and while it didn’t exactly go as hoped, it was an encouraging first step. The Falcon 9 rocket made it to the platform, which was a couple of hundred miles off Florida’s northeastern coast, but it came down too hard and broke apart, as you can see from the footage above.

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.

After the attempt last week, Musk said the ship itself was fine and this all bodes well for the future.

Watch this space(x).

- With reporting from AFP.

Read: “Close, but no cigar this time”: SpaceX launch goes (more or less) to plan>

Read: Evacuation on ISS after toxic leak alarm sounds, all astronauts safe>

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Michelle Hennessy

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