After several delays SpaceX finally launched a commercial satellite to space, but an attempt to land the first stage of the unmanned Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean was unsuccessful.
The launch on Cape Canaveral came together on the company’s fifth attempt. After receiving a “go for launch” about 76 seconds prior to liftoff, the rocket took off right at its 6:35 scheduled time and separation of rocket and satellite was confirmed about four minutes after launch.
A few minutes later commentators on SpaceX’s live webcast said that the first stage was headed toward the platform. After a bright a flash, the camrea went out.
Later, SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted that the rocket “landed hard” on the floating platform.” Still, the miss is considered something of a success by SpaceX, and Musk tweeted that the “next flight has a good chance.”
Rocket landed hard on the droneship. Didn’t expect this one to work (v hot reentry), but next flight has a good chance.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2016
The telecommunications satellite launched into space was built by Luxembourg-based SES Satellites and is meant to provide broadband internet to remote areas of the Asia-Pacific into geosynchronous orbit.