LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — SpaceX’s CEO revealed the explosive demise of the Falcon 9 rocket and why an attempt to land the rocket upright back on earth failed.
The Hawthorne-based company’s CEO Elon Musk posted on Instagram Monday a video of the moment the rocket landed on a barge off Southern California, toppled over and exploded.
The rocket made the hard landing after launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base Sunday and successfully delivering the Jason-3 ocean-monitoring satellite into orbit.
Musk tweeted that the lockout collet on one of the rocket’s four legs didn’t latch, causing it to tip over after landing.
He said the “root cause may have been ice buildup due to condensation from heavy fog at liftoff.”
The botched landing was a setback for SpaceX’s plan to reduce launch costs by reusing rockets.