On Friday evening, SpaceX saw its second successful launch of the year out of Cape Canaveral in Florida
The launch marked the start of two different missions, but only one would pan out:
Ferry the SES-9 communications satellite into Earth's orbit.
Land a rocket on board an ocean platform in the Atlantic Ocean.
While the first mission was a wonderful success, the second was decidedly not.
Shortly after the launch, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the rocket took a hard landing on the ship, meaning that it came in too fast and, in all probability, likely exploded on the platform.
But Musk also offered a thread of hope:
Rocket landed hard on the droneship. Didn't expect this one to work (v hot reentry), but next flight has a good chance.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2016
Landing rockets isn't just a fancy stunt for SpaceX. It's a critical goal that will prove whether or not the company can reuse the same rocket for different launches and save itself the cost of building a new multimillion-dollar rocket for each mission.
If reusable rockets prove a viable approach to spaceflight, the cost of a single launch could be drastically reduced.
While this is a missed opportunity to prove the revolutionary reusability of its Falcon 9 rockets, SpaceX — as Musk mentioned — is not surprised by this outcome.
What's more, there's hope for a more successful landing with SpaceX's next launch, which is scheduled for a yet-to-be-announced day this April.
RELATED: Images from the SpaceX's resupply mission:
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