Yesterday SpaceX launched its latest Dragon rocket to deliver supplies to the International Space Station, and after the first stage of the rocket had separated, something rather special happened. Or almost happened, anyway.
The plan was to try to land it safely back down on a floating barge – something that has never been done before. As you can see from the above video, which has been stablised and colour corrected, it was so very close to success. Apparently it landed slightly too hard- so whilst it was in more or less the right place, it toppled over after hitting the ground.
The reason this is so important is because if we (as in “humanity”) can make rocket parts reusable, getting stuff up to space will be cheaper – and meaning we can do more space launches.
This was the second attempt after a similar launch a few weeks ago, when it ended fairly disastrously. Here’s hoping third time is the charm for Elon Musk’s bold ambitions.