SpaceX successfully launched Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon cargo capsule into the orbit on Saturday, but the craft’s attempt to land the first stage of the unmanned rocket at sea ended with a crash.
The primary motive of the Falcon 9 rocket launch was to send over 5,000 pounds of food, supplies, equipments and scientific materials for experiments aboard the Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS), where scientists from different countries are experimenting on different parts of the universe. According to the scientists’ team, that part of the mission unfolded immaculately.
The Falcon 9 rose into a dark sky at 4:47 am ET from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The scientists further said that following the successful separation of the Dragon and the second stage of Falcon, the 14-storyed-tall first stage was programmed in such a way that it try flying itself back to an “autonomous spaceport drone ship” while sitting about 200 miles off the Atlantic coast in Florida.
“The stage made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard. Close, but no cigar this time,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
This had never been tried before and the scientists believe if the procedure turns successful and becomes a routine, it could mark a giant step toward the rocket reusability as well as low-cost spaceflight.
Musk believes such a maneuver would increase the rockets’ usability and hence will also lower the cost of their launch into the orbit to one percent of what it is today.