SpaceX posted a new video of its April 14 attempt to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket.
This footage shows SpaceX’s second attempt to land the rocket’s first stage on the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions.”
The camera tracks the rocket as it reenters the atmosphere at supersonic speeds. Then, the Falcon 9 throttles up its Merlin engines in an effort to make a soft landing.
The primary goal of this mission was to deliver a Dragon resupply vehicle to the International Space Station, which SpaceX did successfully. Landing the Falcon 9 in the Atlantic Ocean would have been an added bonus but, as SpaceX says in a June 25 release:
[A]bout 10 seconds before landing, a valve controlling the rocket’s engine power (thrust) temporarily stopped responding to commands as quickly as it should have.
As a result, it throttled down a few seconds later than commanded, and—with the rocket weighing about 67,000 lbs and traveling nearly 200 mph at this point — a few seconds can be a very long time.
With the throttle essentially stuck on ‘high’ and the engine firing longer than it was supposed to, the vehicle temporarily lost control and was unable to recover in time for landing, eventually tipping over.