Falcon 9 is now the only reusable rocket booster, which is a major selling point for SpaceX.
The launch marked the fourth flight of the Hawthorne-based aerospace firm's $62 million reusable Falcon 9 first-stage rocket booster, which reportedly failed to land properly because of hydraulics issues.
Musk also tweeted a video from on board the booster, showing the rocket spinning uncontrollably until it regained stability at the last moment, but missed the landing pad.
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Despite the landing, the mission successfully placed in orbit its Dragon uncrewed cargo spacecraft.
SpaceX followed the Spaceflight mission with a December 5 resupply to the International Space Station, which marked the company's 20th launch in 2018.
However, as soon as this crucial part was phased out, Falcon's first stage (most expensive portion of the rocket) that was supposed to navigate itself back to the earth malfunctioned.
The mission was SpaceX's 16th mission for NASA as part of a long-term contract to ferry supplies to space.More news: SpaceX Launches Dragon Cargo Ship to Space Station, But Misses Rocket Landing
According to Musk, the rocket could still be re-used as its engines stabilised the spin just in time to ensure an intact landing in water. "Ships en route to rescue Falcon", he wrote.
This is the first time that SpaceX has failed to land the booster on the ground. Through this cargo, Species was sending supplies science experiments and food to astronauts living at the International Space Station.
In order to reduce the cost of space transport, SpaceX has incorporated re-usable rockets, which can be reused.
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