First SpaceX video showing rocket landing back on Earth is totally bonkers

Next step: Mars. No, really.


Taylor Hatmaker


Published Jan 16, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 6:13 pm CDT

If you ask Elon Musk, his private spaceflight company’s recent attempt to make history by landing a rocket back on Earth following its launch was “close but no cigar.” 

When SpaceX tested its dream of reusable rocket technology on Jan. 10, it sought to not only recover the rocket that had flung a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station, but to land it, vertically, on a barge off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla. We knew SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket hit its target—already a feat for the record books—though it was said to be damaged on impact, and now we know what that looked like. 

Musk just shared the first image from the landing on Twitter, in an exchange with the CTO of Oculus, the virtual reality company acquired by Facebook last year.

If that photo from the landing barge isn’t mind-bending enough, check out the new video SpaceX shared to Vine.

Following January’s historic launch, SpaceX remains as committed as ever to its dream of reusable rockets, a breakthrough that could reduce launch-related costs by a hundredfold. It might have been a crash landing, but there’s no doubt the beyond-ambitious company is one step closer to its dream of colonizing the red planet

How’s that for a corporate milestone?

Photo via SpaceX

Share this article
*First Published: Jan 16, 2015, 3:21 pm CST