SpaceX Still Optimistic After Failed Landing

SpaceX’s most recent test flight ended in failure, but co-founder Elon Musk is still encouraged by the project progress.

According to Yahoo! News, SpaceX launched their commercial Falcon 9 rocket early Saturday morning, delivering a Dragon cargo ship towards the International Space Station before returning to earth. The plan was to have the rocket land on a recovery barge in the Atlantic ocean. While the launch was successful and the team got Dragon to orbit as planned, the landing of the recoverable first stage of the rocket did not go as well.

SpaceX intended to land the Falcon 9’s first stage on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, a task successfully completed twice in 2014. SpaceX reported the rocket successfully hit its target, but landed harder than planned.

While there was no reported damage to the rocket, Musk did not consider the landing a success.

While the failed landing is certainly disappointing, the stated goal of Saturday’s launch was the delivery to ISS. The Dragon capsule is also part of the company’s effort to develop fully reusable rocket technology. Musk believes this would dramatically cut the cost of space travel.

Musk has long been the public face of SpaceX and their pursuit of space exploration. In addition to the Dragon capsule’s mission to resupply the International Space Station, SpaceX is also currently designing a new space suit and has plans to colonize Mars.

According to, Musk aims to release his Mars plans by the end of the year.

“The Mars transport will be a completely new architecture. Am hoping to present that towards the end of this year. Good thing we didn’t do it sooner, as we have learned a huge amount from Falcon and Dragon. The goal will be to send 100 metric tons (110 tons) of ‘useful payload.’ This obviously requires a very big spaceship and booster system.”

SpaceX is the first private company to ever deliver payload to the International Space System. The company was contracted by NASA to delivery cargo in a contract that started in 2012 as is reported to be for $1.6 billion.

According to their website, SpaceX was founded in 2002 with a mission to design, manufacture, and launch advanced rockets and spacecraft. The last few years have seen various successes and failures along the way towards the company’s stated goal of colonizing Mars.

[Photo courtesy of SpaceX]