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SpaceX Falcon 9 makes astonishing water landing after missing initial target

Rocket landings have become almost routine - but they don't always go to plan.
  • Here’s a video of a SpaceX Falcon 9 making an astonishing water landing
  • It had missed its initial target
  • However the damage to the craft was surprisingly minimal

Published on Feb 13, 2024 at 8:09PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Feb 13, 2024 at 8:31PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Alessandro Renesis

Rocket landings were almost routine for SpaceX and its Falcon 9 booster – but this water landing was anything but ordinary.

The first orbital class rocket capable of reflight, its stats were impressive.

It celebrated 296 total launches, 254 total landings and 228 reflights all in.

READ MORE! The astonishing location the Tesla launched into space by Elon Musk has reached after 5 years

The reusable, two-stage rocket was designed and manufactured by SpaceX.

It was made for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads with Earth’s orbit and beyond.

Being reusable, it was able to drive down the cost of space travel.

It was 70m (229.6 ft) high, had a circumference of 3.7 m / 12 ft.

It weighed 549,054 kg (1,207,920 lb).

Fascinated? You can watch this amazing footage of liftoff too.

The first Falcon 9 launch was on 4 June, 2010 but it was retired in 2018.

This footage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket touching down on Earth safely was from December 2015.

It was originally posted by the CEO himself, Elon Musk.

Not everything went to plan for the landing as it returned from successfully delivering supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Falcon 9, while attempting a return to its Cape Canaveral landing pad, missed its mark.

Instead it crash landed at sea, which despite losing several Falcon 9 cores over the years, was the first time this had happened.

However, it seemingly remained intact.

Its thought that a mechanical failure was to blame for the incident, causing Falcon 9 to fall into a spin as it plummeted towards the ocean.

While upright as it hit the water, it then overbalanced and ended up floating flat on the surface of the water.

“Engines stabilized rocket spin just in time, enabling an intact landing in water! Ships en route to rescue Falcon,” Musk posted to X.

SpaceX is said to land some of its rockets at sea on its droneship when missions haven’t left enough fuel remaining to get to shore.

“Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea,” Musk posted.

“Appears to be undamaged & is transmitting data. Recovery ship dispatched.”

Musk went on to say that the waterlogged rocket would be used for a subsequent internal SpaceX mission.

You can catch the breathtaking footage in the video above.

Meanwhile, SpaceX remains to go from strength to strength as it teams up with NASA to build the first Moon base.

Its success in part is due to Musk’s ability to take constructive criticism on board.

One example is this YouTuber’s question that made Elon Musk completely rethink his SpaceX rocket.

Some wasn’t so well received, however, as he was left ‘speechless’ after one flaw was pointed out in his Mars plans.

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