Watch: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket tips over and explodes on landing
SpaceX has tried and failed to land its Falcon 9 rocket at sea for the third time.
The unmanned rocket successfully completed its primary mission on Sunday, which was to launch the Jason-3 weather satellite into orbit.
However, upon returning to Earth, the Falcon 9 rocket bodged its landing on a drone ship.
It seems Elon Musk’s space company initially believed the failure to be down to a hard landing. However, it soon revised its analysis when evidence emerged that one of the Falcon 9’s legs hadn’t fully locked in place.
Video shows the Falcon 9 apparently landing neatly on the platform, but then tipping over as one of the legs fails and exploding.
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This is the third time SpaceX has failed at a sea landing. Back in December, the company successfully landed a Falcon 9 after an orbital space mission, but that was on solid ground.
SpaceX wants to push the sea landing concept, as it provides the company with far more landing options for its extensive space programme. Being able to land at sea will save precious fuel, as the landing pad effectively goes to meet the rocket rather than the other way around.