Let's just call this one a win, shall we?
For a few seconds after the 1st stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket touched down on the floating landing platform "Just Read The Instructions," it seemed like a total mission success. The blazing rocket steered itself toward the center of the landing platform and appeared to set down at the perfect speed.
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But after battling with strong crosswinds, the smoking cylinder was slightly askew and it tipped. And then it did what a rocket does best, it exploded, vaporizing the remaining fuel it had on board.
After successfully launching the SpaceX Dragon capsule carrying cargo to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday (April 14), this was the second attempt to make an automated landing of the first Falcon 9 stage on the drone landing platform. It wasn't necessarily a failure, more a partial success. This was the first time that the returning rocket actually touched down in a half-controlled manner. The explosion, well, just added some Hollywood-style pyrotechnics to a thrilling landing attempt.
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And the best thing is that SpaceX has released an incredible video of the landing (below).
Before the landing attempt was made, founder and CEO of SpaceX Elon Must tweeted: "If this works, I'm treating myself to a volcano lair. It's time."
Sorry Elon, no volcano lair quite yet, but I think you should start looking for some volcanic real estate - a successful landing isn't far away.