Perhaps that's why Musk on Thursday morning presented a blooper reel of the company's many failed attempts, a two-minute video, set to a John Philip Sousa march, of explosion after fiery explosion. SpaceX rocket failures have happened thanks to faulty sensors, running out of fuel or oxygen too early, bad valves, no hydraulic fluid, and even the collapse of one of its landing legs. As Vector Space Systems founder and CEO Jim Cantrell explained in a Quora post back in July, "Reusability is a great brand image generator, but, more importantly, it enables SpaceX to double their flight rate and make more money, all the while preparing for Mars landings with the reusability technology".
Musk's move is akin to a story about a legendary Wall Street executive who had a single piece of paper framed on the wall behind his imposing desk. "It's just a scratch".
But the caption jokes: 'Well, technically, it did land...just not in one piece'. The company has also launched two satellites into orbit with reused first-stages.
When you think SpaceX your first thought might be the future of spaceflight or a pipedream. But since the hard work of the team resulted in success, Musk will surely be proud to share this journey (with a mix of humor) with fans. SpaceX recently compiled the most impressive footage of Falcon 9 crashes for your viewing enjoyment. While that's already an achievement worth celebrating, Musk has predicted that full reusability will be the key to making SpaceX rocket launches less costly.
Fortunately, SpaceX's last 12 landing attempts, including recycled spacecraft, were successful. It is among the few private and government ventures that aim to carry cargo and people to the Red Planet and other places beyond Earth's atmosphere.