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WATCH: SpaceX Booster Crashes On Barge

As we reported last week, the latest SpaceX resupply mission successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral and later made a rendezvous with the International Space Station. But a secondary goal of the flight -– to test landing a spent booster from the Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform — didn't go as well.

Of the first-ever attempt at such a thing, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said it was "close, but no cigar." After the early-morning launch on Saturday, the specially equipped booster hit the side of the platform and broke apart on impact.

Before liftoff, Musk had rated the chances of success at 50-50. Undaunted, he has vowed to try again.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.