Spectacular 360-Degree Video Shows SpaceX's Rocket Landing Up Close
If you missed previous videos of SpaceX's historic vertical rocket landing at sea in early April, well, don't worry. None of the earlier footage remotely compares to a new 360-degree video that basically puts you right on the unmanned barge -- or "droneship" -- as the14-story-tall Falcon 9 rocket makes its fiery, terrifying descent. And, yes, we just made a drone joke.
The new video is likely the closest you'll ever get to seeing a rocket landing up close, considering it's one of the few rockets that has ever successfully landed and you'd basically be vaporized if you were actually there, of course. Best of all, the video uses YouTube's 360-degree interactive feature that allows you to click with your mouse (on desktop) or tilt your phone (on YouTube's mobile app) to pan around and watch the landing from different angles. As you can imagine, it's a pretty intense experience, so we recommend watching it in full HD at least three times. The sound is pretty great, too.
Along with just being cool to watch, the footage also illustrates the difficulty Elon Musk's team faced in sending a rocket to space and successfully landing it on a barge floating in the ocean. Oh, and don't forget: it took four explosive failures before they got it right. Now, it's only a matter of time before people and equipment are transported aboard the reusable rockets. At least we hope so.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and wonders if people will actually ride in these things during his lifetime. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.