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Following a string of delays, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket finally soars into space last Mar. 4 to deliver a commercial satellite into orbit.

The rocket blasted off in such majestic fashion from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 6:35 PM EST to deliver the SES-9 communications satellite into orbit. But while the launch went fine, the landing was an altogether different story.

The satellite separated as planned from the rocket and headed off toward its final orbit, achieving the target altitude of more than 25,000 miles The rocket, however, landed hard on the droneship, as confirmed by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Twitter.

“Didn’t expect this one to work (very hot reentry), but next flight has a good chance,” tweets Musk, who also thanked SES for riding on Falcon 9 and expressed anticipation for future missions.

As part of a daring experiment for reusable rocket technology, the space exploration firm attempted to land the first stage of the rocket on “Of Course I Still Love You,” one out of its two autonomous spaceport drone ships. SpaceX, which is vocal in its aim to develop rapidly and completely reusable rockets, previously said that the success rate for this is rather slim.

The rocket’s first stage separated from the upper stage around 2.5 minutes post-liftoff, and then proceeded with two engine burns to return to Earth for an Atlantic Ocean platform landing a couple of hundred miles off the Florida coast.

The rocket approached the landing site and then cut off right before the boost hit the deck of the ship.

Read More: Techtimes

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