Video: SpaceX’s Latest Attempt to Land a Rocket on a Barge

SpaceX attempted to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a barge off the coast of California, Jan. 17, 2016. (Photo via Instagram)SpaceX attempted to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a barge off the coast of California, Jan. 17, 2016. (Photo via Instagram)

Check out this video of SpaceX’s third and latest attempt to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a barge.

The 70-foot-tall booster actually touched down on the platform at sea, but one of the legs didn’t stick the landing.

CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that a “lockout collet” didn’t latch on one of the four legs. Even so, he’s optimistic the company’s success rate at landing rockets vertically will improve to about 70 percent in 2016 and 90 percent in 2017. It accomplished the feat for the first time last month in what was hailed as a historic breakthrough.

In addition to its work for NASA, SpaceX wants to compete against a Lockheed Martin Corp.-Boeing Co. joint venture for contracts to launch military and spy satellites. It’s seeking to develop reusable rockets — with components that can lift off, land and liftoff again — to reduce launch costs.

The audio may be the best part of this video:


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Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • stephen russell

    rocket needs sturdier legs, side thrusters to steer, & to fire a piton into deck to grapple deck & which down to deck then.
    More should be done to deter thus.
    Side thrusters can augment landing from any angle to steer onto barge.
    & beef up the fuel tank from exploding if possible.

  • A42

    “No no no NO NOOooo!”

  • postwarvandal

    How about 5 legs? Or 6? Some redundancy seems logical.

    Ot fat electromagnets under the landing deck.

  • Patriot on a String

    Look like hydraulic or electro-screw expander lowering support struts. Bad design with the 5,ooo plus degrees of the thruster verses a lighter exploding compressed air charge to advance the struts with autonomous mechanical locking mechanism all of which also spells out a lighter configuration.

  • Reality

    uhh parachute and water, been workin for NASA for years