Watch SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Almost Stick Droneship Landing, then Tip and Explode; Video

SpaceX Falcon 9 First stage approaches center of landing droneship in Pacific Ocean. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage tips over and explodes on Pacific ocean droneship after landing leg fails to lock in place on Jan 17, 2016. Credit: SpaceX See landing video belowSpaceX came much closer to sticking the landing of their Falcon 9 rocket on a tiny droneship at sea than initially thought, as evidenced by a dramatic video of the latest attempt to recover the booster by making a soft ocean touchdown on Sunday, Jan. 17, after successfully propelling a US-European ocean surveillance satellite to low Earth orbit. As seen in a vivid new birds eye video view of the landings final moments released by SpaceX CEO and billionaire founder Elon Musk, the first stage booster indeed descended slowly towards the small barge in the Pacific Ocean right on target for pinpoint soft landing.The rocket landed just 1.3 meters (4 feet) off center of the bullseye on the oceangoing barge.Unfortunately it then tipped over due to a malfunctioning landing leg that failed to lock in place, possibly due to ice buildup, hit the droneship deck and quickly exploded into a raging fireball.Musk published the spectacular landing footage on Instagram – see below – showing the rocket propelled descent, droneship landing, tipover and ultimate fiery destruction of the Falcon 9 first stage after returning from a payload delivery to the edge of space, some 10 minutes earlier.“Falcon lands on droneship, but the lockout collet doesn’t latch on one the four legs, causing it to tip over post landing,” Musk wrote in a description.The 156 foot tall Falcon 9 first stage is equipped with four landing legs and four grid fins to enable the propulsive landing atop the barge once the first stage separates and relights a Merlin 1D engine.“Root cause may have —> Read More