15 September, 2017
Elon Musk always has something to share, even if it's a video of past failures.
Since the hard beginnings shown in the video, though, SpaceX has found success - pulling off 16 booster landings.
Musk's move is akin to a story about a legendary Wall Street executive who had a single piece of paper framed on the wall behind his imposing desk. "Maybe Falcon realized it still loved us or finally read the instructions..." As Musk said back in 2015, a fully reusable rocket "really is the fundamental breakthrough needed to revolutionize access to space". SpaceX also launched three missions this year in expendable configuration - which of course means they didn't attempt to land them at all.
In one of the clips in the SpaceX blooper video, Musk is shown inspecting the wreckage of a Falcon 9 with the caption "Rocket is fine?"
But the caption jokes: 'Well, technically, it did land...just not in one piece'. Until the company's recovery efforts - unique among rocket makers launching spacecraft into orbit - these segments were discarded at sea.
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Every type of failure you can imagine (and plenty that you can't) is on display here.
Knowing they have started to crack the problem then, it's understandable Musk approached the "blooper reel" cheerfully. Instead, it's created a fantastic video supercut of all of its most epic crashes, explosions, and shortcomings.
In this failed attempt a landing leg collapsed during touchdown, causing the Falcon 9 booster to tip over and explode. Since the first successful landing of one of these craft - through the August 14, 2017 launch, the company has successfully completed all landings where attempted (100% success rate).
Full rocket reusability is an essential part of SpaceX's plans for Mars, too.
SpaceX, which Musk founded in 2002 specifically with the objective of colonizing Mars, is one of several private and government funded ventures vying to put people and cargo on the red planet and other destinations beyond Earth's orbit.