What the SpaceX Rocket Crash Really Looked Like

New images show Falcon 9’s dramatic crash landing

Falcon 9 Rocket
The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket propelled critical supplies to the International Space Station. SCOTT AUDETTE/Reuters/Corbis

Last week, SpaceX’s launch was both a success and a failure. It succeeded in its primary mission—bringing supplies that will support 250 current and future experiments to the International Space Station. But the company was also hoping it might land the rocket used to propel its Dragon resupply unit into space safely back on Earth. That didn't go as well.

Now SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has posted up-close pictures of what it looked like when the rocket landed with a dramatic explosion at the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship.

To most of us, this looks like a crash landing. But SpaceX hailed this, too, as a success—the company characterized the landing as “hard” in a news release. The drone ship is a key part of attempts to reuse rocket technology, a breakthrough that could “drastically cut the cost of spaceflight travel,” according to Business Insider.

So how did Musk feel about the landing? According to his tweets, he seems optimistic—looks like his motto is “try, try again.”

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