Trending: Google Cloud product leader arrested on suspicion of murder after wife goes missing in Hawaii


There were cheers, groans and no small amount of suspense at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., this morning, as live video from a drone ship cut out just as the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket was attempting to land on the autonomous platform in the Atlantic Ocean.

Later, the word came: “Unfortunately it appears we lost the vehicle.”

This would have been the fourth rocket landing at sea for SpaceX, and the fifth landing overall.

SpaceX launched two Boeing-built communications satellites, EUTELSAT 117 West B and ABS-2A, to Geostationary Transfer Orbits (GTO) as part of this morning’s mission. Elon Musk’s commercial space venture warned in advance that the attempt to land the Falcon 9 would be especially challenging. “As with other GTO missions, the first-stage will be subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating, making a successful landing difficult,” said SpaceX in a news release.

Subscribe to GeekWire's Space & Science weekly newsletter


Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.