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Watch SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket land, tip over, and explode

SpaceX's latest attempt to land its reusable Falcon 9 rocket on a ship in the ocean failed again tonight, but it was a close call — an issue with one of the rocket's leg-locking mechanisms caused it to tip over after landing, bringing the test to a fiery end. Elon Musk just posted a dramatic video to Instagram that shows the incident up close in footage recorded from the platform; it's worth watching as a demonstration of just how precise the landing needs to be.

"Falcon lands on droneship, but the lockout collet doesn't latch on one [of] the four legs, causing it to tip over post-landing," Musk says. "[The] root cause may have been ice buildup due to condensation from heavy fog at liftoff."

Although this was another failure, SpaceX does appear to be making progress toward its goals. The company launched and landed the Falcon 9 on solid ground last month, in a historic landing that hints at a less expensive future for commercial space flight.


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