Elon Musk tweeted a few photos and posted the above Vine video on YouTube of the Falcon 9 craft’s nearly-successful landing. It may have been close, but being close doesn’t matter so much when you’re talking about a rocket landing.
Imagine what the scientists were thinking watching this firsthand. “Looking good — Oh God, Oh God, we are so fired! RUN!”
Engadget reports the news isn’t all bad though:
Usually explosions aren’t good, but it meant that the ship’s’ first stage actually found it’s way to the relatively tiny barge after soaring over 50 miles into space. NASA will just need to add more hydraulic oil next time to prevent a repeat of the unfortunate final events, and the minor damage to the barge will be rectified soon. Musk was never optimistic about the chances of success anyway, given the difficulty and fact that it’s never been tried before. Though the Falcon 9 didn’t stick the landing, it certainly nailed the rest — we’d give it a solid ‘9’ with a few extra style points for the explosion.