Space X's reuseable rocket explodes on landing

Musk said the lockout device, a collet, didn't latch on one of the rocket's four legs, causing it to tip over after landing.

After a successful mission on Sunday afternoon out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, SpaceX attempted to land the first stage of its un-crewed two-stage Falcon 9 rocket for a second time in a row, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

However, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched on Jason-3 satellite into low-Earth orbit from the launch pad of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Sunday's SpaceX launch succeeded in its primary goal to put the United States and European-owned Jason-3 satellite into orbit 1,336 km above the planet.

Private company SpaceX has previously managed to land a rocket upright in Cape Canaveral, Florida, bringing space tourism closer than ever.

Continuing with its astronomical -figuratively and literally -ambitions, SpaceX launched its reusable Falcon 9 rocket into space carrying NASA's new ocean satellite.

"The measurements from Jason-3 will advance our efforts to understand Earth as an integrated system by increasing our knowledge of sea level changes and the ocean's roles in climate".

The rocket slowly toppled over and exploded into flames. The problem with the landing was a technical issue concerning one of the landing legs. The rocket stage was landing within 1.3 meters of droneship center.

SpaceX, a Hawthorne-based company founded by business magnate and inventor, Elon Musk, built the rocket.

"Similar to an aircraft carrier vs land: much smaller target area, that's also translating and rotating". The vehicle's upper stage placed the Jason-3 spacecraft into a parking orbit nine minutes after launch, and the spacecraft separated from the upper stage 56 minutes after liftoff, after a second, brief burn by the upper stage.

In further good news for the company, analysis of the Falcon 9 from the 21 December landing provides strong evidence for the future reusability of SpaceX's rockets. Still, SpaceX said, it wants to have the options for both at-sea and on-land landings.

Jason-3 is created to bounce radio waves off the ocean and time how long it takes the reflected signals to return.

"Definitely harder to land on a ship", he added after the latest foible.

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