SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared video of the company’s rocket booster splashing down just off the Florida coast on Wednesday after missing its intended target.
The Falcon 9 rocket’s lower stage was supposed to land at LZ-1, the company’s concrete landing pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Musk said in a tweet on Wednesday that the booster’s “grid fin hydraulic pump stalled,” sending it off course. Despite the water landing, Musk tweeted that the rocket “appears to be undamaged” and “is transmitting data.” He added that the company “may use it for an internal SpaceX mission.”
The company succeeded in the main goal of its mission, however, as the company’s cargo capsule reached orbit on its way to the International Space Station. Known as CRS-16, this was SpaceX’s 16th mission of launching supplies and experiments to the space station. It was also SpaceX’s 20th mission of the year, a record for the company.
SpaceX does not always attempt to recover the Falcon 9 booster, sometimes intentionally discarding the booster during high intensity launches. The last time SpaceX had a failure during a Falcon 9 booster landing was June 2016, when the rocket ran out of fuel on the way down. Musk’s company has landed more than two dozen consecutive Falcon 9 rockets since then. In February, one of the three Falcon Heavy rocket boosters smashed into the ocean when it missed the target.
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