SpaceX narrowly misses booster landing at sea | Spaceflight Now
One of four landing legs mounted to the base of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster failed to engage on the rocket’s final descent to a barge in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, leaving wreckage scattered on the football field-sized deck of the landing ship after an otherwise successful launch with an ocean research satellite.
The rocket landings have become a regular fixture on SpaceX launches as the California-based company tries to perfect techniques to make the Falcon 9 first stage reusable, a goal SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk says is vital to reducing the cost of spaceflight.
It was SpaceX’s third attempt to land a Falcon 9 booster on the company’s drone ship positioned downrange in the ocean. SpaceX’s first rocket landing attempt on shore in December was successful, giving the company a triumph to close the year after a launch failure in June grounded the Falcon 9 for nearly six months.
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