SpaceX managed a perfect launch of the Jason-3 weather satellite, but failed in its attempt to land the rocket back onto a floating ocean barge.
The rocket lifted off from California’s Vandenberg Air Force base on Sunday morning (Jan 17, 10.42 PST)), and the satellite placed into its correct orbit. However, the landing on the floating platform didn’t go so well, and one of the returning rocket’s legs failed to lock into position.
Initially, the landing attempt looked good and the landing stage came closer than ever and just 1.3 metres from its target.
Space X’s founder Elon Musk, immediately Tweeted that the rocket topped over on landing. Somewhat tongue-in-cheek he continued saying that this time “the [damaged] pieces are bigger” despite the rocket having exploded as it toppled over.