SpaceX Narrowly Misses Historic Rocket Landing

Second attempt to have it come down on ship fails
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2015 4:59 PM CDT
SpaceX Narrowly Misses Historic Rocket Landing
The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral.   (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Maybe the third time will be the charm? Space's second attempt to have a rocket return safely to Earth after launching its payload came close but failed, reports CNN. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched successfully from Cape Canaveral and sent its cargo capsule hurtling toward the International Space Station. Engineers then tried to bring the rocket's first stage in for a vertical landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic, explains As happened the first time, in January, the rocket did indeed come down on the ship, but not with enough finesse.

"Ascent successful. Dragon enroute to Space Station. Rocket landed on droneship, but too hard for survival," tweeted SpaceX founder Elon Musk. Later, he added, "Looks like Falcon landed fine, but excess lateral velocity caused it to tip over post landing." SpaceX is trying to perfect a reusable rocket, a move it says could cut the cost of space flight by a factor of 100. (More SpaceX stories.)

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