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Watch a GIF of every successful — and failed — SpaceX Falcon 9 landing attempt

Watch a GIF of every successful — and failed — SpaceX Falcon 9 landing attempt


16 successes, five failures, and a whole lot of fire

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SpaceX has been successfully landing its Falcon 9 rockets for more than a year now. It’s a goal that CEO Elon Musk has talked about since founding the company 15 years ago, and yet it still feels like SpaceX achieved it at lightning speed. The company even relaunched a landed rocket for the first time ever in March, paving the way to real rocket reusability.

But SpaceX didn’t get to this point without a few explosions along the way. So here’s a GIF recap of all the successes and failures — click the links for more info on each:

Attempt 1, January 2015:

Attempt 2, April 2015:

Attempt 3, December 2015 — the first successful landing:

Attempt 4, January 2016:

Attempt 5, March 2016 (video signal cut out before failure):

Attempt 6, April 2016 — first successful sea landing:

Attempt 7, May 2016 — second successful sea landing:


Attempt 8, May 2016 — third successful sea landing:

Attempt 9, June 2016:

Attempt 10, July 2016 — second land landing:

Attempt 11, August 2016 — fourth successful sea landing (video feed cut out during landing):

Attempt 12, January 2017 — fifth successful sea landing:

Attempt 13, February 2017 — third successful land landing:

Attempt 14, March 2017 — sixth successful sea landing, and the first time a Falcon 9 has landed twice:

Attempt 15, May 2017 — fourth successful land landing:

Attempt 16, June 2017 — fifth successful land landing

Attempt 17, June 2017 — seventh successful sea landing (video feed cut out during landing):

Attempt 18, June 2017 — eighth successful sea landing:

Attempt 19, August 2017 — sixth successful land landing

Attempt 20, August 2017 — ninth successful sea landing

Attempt 21, September 2017 — seventh successful land landing

SpaceX spent a few years test-landing smaller scale versions of its rockets, too. So while the landings are almost becoming routine, it’s still pretty amazing how far things have come. “It’s been 15 years to get to this point, it’s taken us a long time,” Musk said after the historic relaunch and landing in March. “A lot of difficult steps along the way, but I’m just incredibly proud of SpaceX for being able to achieve this incredible milestone in the history of space.”

This post has been updated with video.