SpaceX narrowly misses booster landing at sea

January 18, 2016 6:22 AM

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One of four landing legs mounted to the base of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster failed to engage on the rocket’s final descent to a barge in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, leaving wreckage scattered on the football field-sized deck of the landing ship after an otherwise successful launch with a ocean research satellite.

The rocket landings have become a regular fixture on SpaceX launches as the California-based company tries to perfect techniques to make the Falcon 9 first stage reusable, a goal SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk says is vital to reducing the cost of spaceflight.

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