Some supplies and equipment bound for the International Space Station were launched on Saturday. While this is typically a fairly routine process, this particular launch involved a SpaceX rocket that is meant to eventually be reusable. Rather than letting the initial stages of the rocket fall into the ocean, as is usually done, operators attempted to recover the first stage intact by landing it on a floating landing pad.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work, and the rocket landed a bit too hard and broke apart. The attempt was apparently quite close to working, which means that we may be close to a reusable launch system. That could be much cheaper than current methods where the rockets must be built anew for each launch. SpaceX officials claim that the chances of success were estimated to only be around 50-50, so the failure was not totally unexpected.