SpaceX CEO Elon Musk likes reusability. With 16 successful rocket landings under its belt, along with two reused rockets and one reused Dragon spacecraft, Musk’s rocket company has made giant leaps in reusable booster technology for sure.
But an amazing new video from the company, which Musk has touted as a mere “blooper reel,” shows just how hard it is to launch rockets into space and land them safely again. Musk posted the video — called “How Not to Land a Rocket” — on Twitter today (Sept. 14). SpaceX’s most recent rocket landing occurred Sept. 6 after the launch of an Air Force X-37B space plane.
“Long road to reusabity of Falcon 9 primary boost stage,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “When upper stage & fairing also reusable, costs will drop by a factor >100.” [Watch a Supercut of 5 Amazing SpaceX Rocket Landings!]
He teased the video’s arrival last week: “Putting together SpaceX rocket landing blooper reel. We messed up a lot before it finally worked, but there’s some epic explosion footage.”
“Epic” is right.
The video is set to a soundtrack of John Philip Sousa’s “The Liberty Bell” march (which also served as the theme song for “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”). It shows a series of rocket-landing fails dating back to 2013 as SpaceX tried repeatedly to perfect the technology needed to land the first stage of its two-stage Falcon 9 rockets back on Earth.