Launch of rocket
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SpaceX launches rocket but recovery experiment fares less well

SpaceX has launched an unmanned cargo mission to resupply the International Space Station (ISS), but its experiment to bring back part of its rocket to a soft landing on a floating sea platform has not fared so well.

The company's billionaire founder Elon Musk says the first-stage of the Falcon rocket made it to the floating barge, but came down too hard and broke apart.

"Close, but no cigar" he said, but added that it boded well for the future.

It is the first time anyone tried anything like this.

Normally the spent stages are destroyed as they fall back to Earth, but the American private space firm had hoped to retrieve the rocket booster.

The lift-off, at Cape Canaveral, occurred at 04:47 local time (09:47 GMT) and the cargo ship should arrive at the ISS on Monday.

  • 10 Jan 2015
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