SpaceX crashed a rocket onto its own drone ship – putting a swift end to its landing streak

SpaceX launch successful

SpaceX launch successful

Musk has originally intended to re-use one of the boosters in the autumn. “The first-stage will be subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating, making a successful landing difficult,” said the company in a statement prior to the launch.

“Upgrades underway to enable rocket to compensate for a thrust shortfall on one of the three landing engines. Probably get there end of year,” he tweeted after the crash landing.

The idea is that SpaceX will be eventually be able to dramatically cut the cost of flying cargo into space by launching reusable rockets.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company has also completed successful landings with its reusable rocket, though only after a suborbital launches, rather than the orbital launches completed by SpaceX.