Energy

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Fails 3rd Rocket Landing [VIDEO]

(REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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SpaceX’s third attempt to land a rocket on a large barge Sunday failed.

SpaceX broadcast most of the launch and experimental landing live via its YouTube channel. However, when the rocket was expected to touch down on the landing pad named “Just Read the Instructions,” the video feed was cut off.

About 20 minutes later, SpaceX tweeted the Falcon 9 had a “hard landing” and “one of the landing legs may have broken.”

The crashed Falcon 9 rocket did successfully accomplish its mission to deliver a satellite into polar orbit, which will measure global sea levels for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The company’s two previous attempts at sticking the landing also ended with their rocket exploding. Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and CEO, called such previous failures a “huge blow.”

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SpaceX successfully landed a reusable rocket on land last month in Florida, a month after competitor Blue Origin accomplished a similar technical feat.

Blue Origin, SpaceX and other companies have been competing to develop reusable rockets which can land. Reusable rockets are considered a major advance by the rocket and space industry as they could substantially reduce the costs of orbital access.

Each SpaceX Falcon 9 launch presently costs around $54 million. If NASA’s Space Shuttle design was around today, it would have an average cost of more than $1.6 billion per launch.

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