Destroy a multi-million dollar spacecraft in this SpaceX rocket landing game

spacex falcon 9 lander
Vertically landing a rocket ship is no easy feat,– just ask the team at SpaceX, which has watched in dismay as its Falcon 9 rocket has exploded more than once during take-off and landing. You can share in this misery with the Scratch web game SpaceX Falcon 9 Lander, which challenges you to land the Falcon 9 in 8-bit glory.

The game is inspired by the classic Lunar Lander game with a multi-million dollar prototype spacecraft as its main character. The goal of the game is basic — use the WASD keys to control your thrust, rotation and speed as you try to land gently on an ocean platform before your fuel runs out. It’s meant to be exceptionally difficult (read: almost impossible) to land without ending in a giant ball of flame on the ocean’s surface. With 8-bit graphics, the game is delightfully retro and maddeningly challenging.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Lander does have some redeeming qualities. The games rage-inducing gameplay is a good check on your coronary health. As you repeatedly destroy your Falcon 9 rockets, you can take solace in the fact that each one is free and not worth millions. It’s a great time killer and fantastic conversation starter that could get you roped into a long talk about rocketry, space exploration and, of course, Elon Musk.

Also — just in case you’re curious, SpaceX hasn’t yet announced when it plans to attempt landing/recovery of a second stage rocket again, but it doesn’t sound like the company will be using the drone barge for the next round. According to statements from Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO, the company will try to land the rocket on land moving forward.

Nothing’s set in stone at this point, though, so be sure to check back for updates.

Deals

Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.
Computing

Windows Update not working after October 2018 patch? Here’s how to fix it

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Emerging Tech

This unusual nature-inspired robot is equally at home on land or in the water

This intriguing, nature-inspired robot may look unusual, but it's impressively capable of moving on both land and water without problem. Heck, it can even travel on ice if necessary.
Emerging Tech

This cryptocurrency wallet for kids isn’t nearly as stupid as it sounds

So you’ve taught your 6-year-old child to read, write, and play nice with others. What’s next? Give them a base understanding of cryptocurrency, of course. This Kickstarter aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Emerging Tech

There’s a giant EMP blaster in New Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s here to protect us

An electromagnetic pulse has the potential to disable virtually all electronics within a large area. To help protect against such a threat is a new, friendly EMP emitter. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?