Before we’d only had tiny glimpses of the near-landing bit of the Falcon 9 rocket. Now we’ve got a fully operational video from off the starboard bow. This video shows how the rocket flew in at great speed, nearly – so very, very nearly – landing on the “Just Read The Instructions” autonomous sea craft. But with a final blast, it fell to the wayside. Time to try, try again, of course, as Elon Musk suggests they’ll be approaching an 80% success rate by the end of this year.
This is just the latest update in a string of news bits and pieces surrounding this mission. This mission – if you need a quick catch-up – had SpaceX attempting to land the piece of the rocket that normally gets destroyed in any standard space-aimed project.
If they do eventually get this piece of the puzzle landed successfully, they’ll be doing away with massive amounts of costs incurred with every mission due to the destruction of parts it requires. Re-usable rockets to the rescue.
Above you’ll see the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket nearly landing successfully on the platform.
This is the second full attempt made by SpaceX to land such a rocket this year. Their January 10th mission resulted in a hit – again, a success in aiming – but an ultimate explosion as a result of coming in far too hard.
At this point with this April mission, more analyzation is needed. “We’re still looking at data and we need to analyze what happened,” said Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX’s vice president of mission assurance.
“It certainly needs more work in the next couple missions.”
The next mission is scheduled for June 19th, and it’ll be one of several missions to attempt first stage landing over the next year.
Update: SpaceX has released a new, high-resolution, color-corrected, and slow-motion video showing the landing attempt: