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On-the-Deck Video Shows SpaceX’s Rocket Landing Try

A short video clip appears to show how the first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket tipped over upon landing on the deck of a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean, minutes after it launched a Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station on Tuesday. The video is a deck's-eye view of the landing attempt and subsequent explosion. It was posted anonymously without being acknowledged by SpaceX — but if it's a hoax, it's an astonishingly good one.

The video is likely to be factored into outside analyses of what went wrong. Aerospace Daily & Defense Report's Guy Norris says speculation is focusing on a snag experienced by an engine throttle valve — a problem that apparently made the control system less responsive than it should have been. Meanwhile, the Dragon is due to arrive at the space station at about 7 a.m. ET Friday to deliver more than 4,300 pounds (1,950 kilograms) of supplies and equipment — including a zero-G espresso machine.

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— Alan Boyle