It's not been a great week for Elon Musk. First he admits that Tesla sales in China were disappointing (which further tanked the stock down 15% in the last 3 weeks and over 36% off its record highs from last September) and then his SpaceX project suffered a significant setback in what Musk comedically called a "Full RUD (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) event."
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has released the first images from last week's failed landing of its Falcon 9 rocket.
The booster was supposed to have landed on a barge floating off the coast of north-eastern Florida in what would have been a revolutionary first for the space company. The ability to land rockets for reuse is central to Musk's plan to cut the costs of flying into space.
After describing last weekend's attempted rocket landing as "close, but no cigar"...
Close, but no cigar. This time. https://t.co/JowUE6a1D7— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 16, 2015
The entrepreneur today gave a more vivid account of what happened, tweeting four dramatic pictures taken by cameras on board the platform. The images, which can be seen below, show the 223-foot-high rocket smashing into the deck of the ship at a 45-degree angle as its stabilising fins lose power.
@ID_AA_Carmack Tks. Turns out we recovered some impact video frames from drone ship. It's kinda begging to be released…— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 16, 2015
Despite the loss of the booster, Musk cheerfully sums up the situation: "Full RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) event. Ship is fine minor repairs. Exciting day!"