Latest in Science

Image credit:

SpaceX's rocket landing test was a big success, despite the fiery explosion (update: video)

1 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Elon Musk has just tweeted the first photos of the Falcon 9's "close but no cigar" hard barge landing to fellow rocket enthusiast and Oculus VR evangelist John Carmack. After saying the frames were "kinda begging to be released," he tweeted out four of them, amusingly recounting the progress of the doomed 14-story-tall ship. The problems started when the rocket section's fins "lost power and (went) hardover," which the engine couldn't counter, resulting in a 45 degree angle crash into the deck. All hell broke loose after that, as "residual fuel and oxygen combine(d)," followed by a "Full RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) event," aka a fiery explosion.

Update: SpaceX has provided us with a Vine showing the entire crash landing, which shows how fast it went from "looking good" to "oh crap." We promise it does not disappoint -- check it out below.

Usually explosions aren't good, but it meant that the ship's' first stage actually found it's way to the relatively tiny barge after soaring over 50 miles into space. Since the chain of events happened because the control fins ran out of hydraulic oil just before landing, NASA will just need to add more next time to prevent a repeat. Musk was never optimistic about the chances of success anyway, given the difficulty and fact that it's never been tried before. SpaceX is trying to make launches cheaper by recovering the first stage, and the experiments don't affect the rocket's ISS resupply missions in any way. Though the Falcon 9 didn't stick the landing, it certainly nailed the rest -- we'd give it a solid '9' with a few extra style points for the explosion.

Source: Elon Musk
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
1 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Law enforcement shuts down largest known child porn site on the dark web

Law enforcement shuts down largest known child porn site on the dark web

View
Moto G8 Plus may borrow features from higher-end phones

Moto G8 Plus may borrow features from higher-end phones

View
Google needs a sustainable phone moonshot

Google needs a sustainable phone moonshot

View
Volvo unveils the XC40 EV, its first full-electric vehicle

Volvo unveils the XC40 EV, its first full-electric vehicle

View
UK finally abandons its unworkable ‘porn block’ plan

UK finally abandons its unworkable ‘porn block’ plan

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr