Feb 17, 2020 - Science

SpaceX botches 50th Falcon rocket booster landing

In this image, Elon Musk stands in a suit and tie in front of a large monitor that says "SpaceX in-flight abort test"

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk after an in-flight abort test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule on Jan. 19. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

What would have been SpaceX's 50th successful Falcon booster landing was foiled on Monday, after the booster missed its touchdown point in the Atlantic Ocean, the Washington Post reports.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Miriam Kramer: The most remarkable thing about SpaceX's failure to land one of its boosters is that this is the exception and not the rule.

  • It took dozens of attempts for the company to successfully land a booster on a drone ship for the first time in 2016.
  • Since then, SpaceX's landings have become largely routine.

Details: Monday's launch and descension through the atmosphere went smoothly, according to SpaceX, but the booster did not accurately land on its autonomous spaceport droneship in the ocean, the Post reports.

  • "It was not immediately clear why the landing did not go as planned," per the Post.

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