Watch SpaceX's three sea landings side by side

While nothing will take away SpaceX's victory with the world's first orbital landing, it still has a long way to go before it gets the landing that it really, really wants: landing at sea, on a drone-driven platform. Sadly, thrice it attempted that and thrice it failed to win the laurel. Now you can watch all three attempts, not one after another but all together, in all their exploding glory, thanks to this side by side by side compilation, thanks to APTX 4869.

Anyone who has been following SpaceX's adventures and misadventures are probably already aware of why landing rockets is such a big thing for the company. In a nutshell, it leads to reusable rockets, which leads to less expenses, which leads to more economical, and cheaper, space travel in the future. Both for science and for pleasure.

Part of that economical equation, however, is saving on fuel. Which Is why SpaceX is insisting on chasing down a sea landing even after it proved, at least once, that I could do it on solid ground. The reason being that when rockets launch into space, they follow a curved path away from the launch site. Navigating them back to the launch site will use up more fuel. Better to set the landing site somewhere along the rocket's path, which is almost always somewhere at sea.

Landing on sea, however, is tricky. Both rocket and landing platform are moving objects and they need to be oriented just right to make it possible. Not to mention the rocket shouldn't topple over and end up exploding. The third time almost made it, if not for a technical problem in one of the legs. Almost there, but not quite.

This combined video isn't exactly meant to focus on SpaceX's failures but put a highlight on how crazy difficult it is to land a rocket. Elon Musk himself definitely isn't discouraged and can even foresee a few more "RUDs" (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) happening in the next few tries. As long as the rocket doesn't actually explode on launch first.