“Technically it did land”—SpaceX debuts a wonderfully absurd blooper reel

What goes up.
What goes up.
Image: AP Photo/John Raoux
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The explosions are set to the tune used as the Monty Python theme song—each one a fiery ball of failure.

In a humorous show of self-deprecation, seemingly fed by its growing confidence, Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX today (Sept. 14) unveiled a two-minute video of some of its most dramatic rocketry mishaps. It is aptly titled “How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster,” and the footage is accompanied by tongue-in-cheek captions.

There was the time one rocket’s leg collapsed, and then another when one rocket’s engine sensor failed—a cascade of imagery and fireballs any space-minded nerd will enjoy.

For years, Musk’s company has been experimenting with rocketry, including successfully figuring out a way to reuse the first stage of a rocket—the most expensive stage because of its use of nine powerful engines—and it’s starting to look more routine. The company is now beginning to disrupt tradition players in the commercial launch market, including Europe’s Arianespace and United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Whether more blooper reels will come remains to be seen. SpaceX can’t be eager to launch any more product for that particular market.