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SpaceX in ROCKET HOVERSHIP PRANG: 'Close – but no cigar,' says Musk

'We'll piece it together from the pieces'

Vid SpaceX's attempt to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating hovership in the Atlantic Ocean ended in failure in the early hours of Saturday morning.

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Billionaire Elon Musk tweeted about his firm's efforts to recover the rocket, after lift-off and separation from the Dragon private space podule, which is now winging its way to the International Space Station.

Roughly 10 minutes into the flight, Dragon cut loose from Falcon 9, at which point SpaceX attempted to land the rocket on a floating robotic "spaceport drone ship".

But that part of the mission failed, wtih Falcon 9 suffering a crash landing. The company said:

While the rocket made it to the drone ship, it landed hard. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get good landing video because of the dark and fog, but we are in the process of evaluating invaluable telemetry data which will inform future attempts.

Dragon, meanwhile, is expected to be hooked up to the ISS on Monday morning, when it will resupply 'nauts who are currently living on the space lab.

Meanwhile, a post-launch news conference at US space agency NASA has been cancelled, following what it described as a "flawless" SpaceX launch. ®

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