Musk Shares SpaceX Blooper Video On How Not To Land Rockets

Elon Musk always has something to share, even if it’s a video of past failures. In this case, it’s not exactly a video of failures, but rather, more of SpaceX’s failed attempts before finally seeing success in landing rockets. That success, however, gave the world the first fully reusable, orbit-class booster rocket.

SpaceX blooper video
Image source: Instagram/Elon Musk (screenshot)

SpaceX blooper video from Musk

In an Instagram post on Thursday, Musk released a SpaceX blooper video featuring explosions and fire caused by their failed orbital rocket booster. The rocket “eventually managed to land in one piece and stay that way…Maybe Falcon realized it still loved us or finally read the instructions…” Musk said in the post.

The 60-second SpaceX blooper video titled “How not to land an orbital rocket booster,” which is set to the Monty Python theme song, shows the company’s rockets crashing, exploding and falling over, underling how hard it has been to get them to finally land safely. The SpaceX blooper video includes captions for each of the failed attempts. Some of the reasons mentioned in the video are a sticky throttle valve, running out of hydraulic fluid, engine sensor failure, running out of liquid oxygen and more.

In one of the clips in the SpaceX blooper video, Musk is shown inspecting the wreckage of a Falcon 9 with the caption “Rocket is fine? It’s just a scratch.” Another clip shows a fireball with the comment, “Well, technically it did land … just not in one piece.”  The September 2016 launch pad explosion, which not only destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket but also the Israeli communications satellite it was carrying, was a notable omission.

Like most movies, the SpaceX blooper video ends on a positive note, showing the first successful drone ship landing and first successful pad landing. In a follow-up tweet, Musk noted that this is just the start, and going ahead, the company plans to lower its costs by “a factor >100.”

Never fear failures

In a 2005 interview, Musk said, “Failure is an option here,” and, “If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

This SpaceX blooper video is a good example of what Musk meant back then. Imagine if the landings were still turning into explosions; then such a video would have come from someone else, maybe even a rival. But since the hard work of the team resulted in success, Musk will surely be proud to share this journey (with a mix of humor) with fans.

SpaceX has perfected the process involving the launch of Falcon 9 rockets, putting satellites in orbit, and recovering the booster, the most important and expensive part. In November, the company plans to launch its biggest usable rocket system, the Falcon Heavy, and then follow it up with carrying NASA astronauts in 2019. A couple of weeks ago, the company revealed that it had successfully tested the first-stage booster for the Falcon Heavy.

SpaceX was founded in 2002 with the objective of colonizing Mars. It is among the few private and government ventures that aim to carry cargo and people to the Red Planet and other places beyond Earth’s atmosphere.