The capsule atop the rocket is carrying grocery supplies up to the International Space Station.
The attempt to land the rocket on a barge floating in the Atlantic Ocean was unsuccessful, according to SpaceX head and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 15, 2015
About 45 minutes after the launch, Musk tweeted: "Looks like Falcon landed fine, but excess lateral velocity caused it to tip over post landing."
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2015
The failed landing marks SpaceX’s latest attempt to prove its progress towards reusable rocket technology.
Usually, launch rockets are allowed to break up into pieces or sink into the ocean, but that has become an enormously costly practice, basically throwing away millions of dollars whenever a rocket is launched and never used again.
Building a new one, for instance, costs $54 million. Reusing the rocket costs a fraction of that: about $200,000 for fuel.
The soft landing was attempted earlier this year, in January, but that rocket exploded on impact when it ran out of fuel on the way back. Scientists said they miscalculated how long it would take for the rocket to return, but they’re confident that it’ll work this time around.