Elon Musk: Falcon 9 had a ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly’

16 Jan 2015

The Falcon 9 rocket launch. Image via Wikimedia Commons

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has released images on microblogging site Twitter of the Falcon 9 rocket’s “rapid unscheduled disassembly” – or, failed landing.

Last weekend, SpaceX attempted to create a piece of space history by landing a rocket engine onto a floating barge in the Atlantic Ocean in order to make space travel much cheaper by re-using the most expensive component of a rocket.

However, the commercial space operation’s highly ambitious endeavour – previously given a 50:50 chance of success – had a rough landing, with Musk taking to Twitter to say it had been ‘close but no cigar’.

Now it appears that describing the rocket as having a rough landing may have been a bit of an understatement. Musk described the rocket coming in hard on the barge, toppling over and exploding as a “rapid unscheduled disassembly”.

In a series of tweets with Oculus VR’s CTO John Carmack, Musk released still images from the video feed of the Falcon 9 crash to the delight of anyone who finds big explosions pretty cool.

Musk has promised the public that another launch is scheduled to occur within the next two to three weeks.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic