Last week, as the Dragon capsule successfully launched for the International Space Station under the watch of Space enthusiasts the world over. There was also a bit of chatter about a secondary SpaceX goal, to land the Falcon 9 rocket on a floating barge in the Atlantic Ocean as a new method of recovery.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had tweeted at the time that the landing did not go well, implying a bit of damage to the landing pad. A few days later, a first picture surfaced of the landing pad showing a bit of charring and a few rocket parts littering the area.
Now, SpaceX has released a video of the ‘landing’ showing that it was a lot more explosive than most people had first suspected.
It shows that the rocket was coming in a little too fast, possibly trying to correct its horizontal position as it descended quickly toward the ground, and ended up hitting the landing pad upright but with horizontal motion, causing its engines to explode and fall off the platform.
I do give a lot of credit to Elon Musk and to SpaceX for posting this video. It creates some buzz around SpaceX as a company, and gives them a persona of ‘we’re going to post our successes and our failures along the way to incredible accomplishments.’ It’s incredibly honest of them, and it’s also a really cool explosion video.