Check out this Vine of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploding on an ocean landing pad

spacex ocean landing explosion video screen shot 2015 01 16 at 12 05 pm
Over the weekend, SpaceX made its first attempt at landing a reusable Falcon 9 rocket on an autonomous drone barge floating in the Atlantic. Unfortunately, not everything went perfectly. CEO Elon Musk tweeted the following on Tuesday:

“Landed hard” is a bit of an understatement, though. Earlier today, Musk posted a Vine video of the rocket exploding on the landing pad just before it touched down.

According to Musk, the reason the landing didn’t go as planned was that the rocket’s fins — a newly-added feature designed to steer the rocket into position as it comes back down to Earth — ran out of hydraulic fluid just before the landing, making them about “10% off.”

It wasn’t quite what SpaceX was hoping for, but even so, the fact that it was able to come this close to a successful ocean landing is still rather impressive. Lessons learned from this botched trial will help the company make critical adjustments for the next launch, which is currently planned for a yet-to-be-determined date in February.

If SpaceX can successfully land and recover a rocket, it will have huge implications for the future of space travel. Stay tuned — the next attempt is planned for about 2 or 3 weeks from now.

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