19 September, 2017
The private American company SpaceX has been called a pioneer in the space industry.
SpaceX was the idea of businessman Elon Musk. He wanted to reduce the cost of space travel by reusing rockets over and over again.
At the time, this was a completely new idea. For years, booster rockets that lifted spacecraft into the skies returned to Earth and were discarded at sea.
At first, many scientists and people in the aerospace industry did not take Elon Musk and SpaceX seriously. There were many rocket failures in the company's early days of testing.
But many people became believers after SpaceX successfully recovered its rockets, turning Musk's dream into reality.
In recent years, SpaceX has increased the number of rockets it launches. These have included flights transporting supplies to the International Space Station, as well as many satellite launches.
To date, SpaceX has successfully landed 16 first-stage booster rockets to be reused in future rocket launches. The most recent landing took place earlier this month in Florida. Some rockets touched down on land, while others landed on a floating platform in the sea.
But before all the successes, there were also some big failures.
SpaceX recently put together a collection of some of those failures in the form of a blooper video. Musk announced the video on Twitter: "How NOT to land an orbital rocket."
In another recent post, he wrote "we messed up a lot before it finally worked." He also promised that viewers would see "some epic explosion" video.
The two-minute video is set to John Philip Sousa's famous march "The Liberty Bell." It shows rockets exploding at sea and over land, with short explanations and dates. The opening explosion, from 2013, is timed to the music.
Towards the end, the video shows SpaceX's first successful booster landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force station in 2015. The final shot is of the booster that touched down on an ocean platform in 2016.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English. His story was based on reports from the Associated Press and SpaceX. George Grow was the editor.
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Words in This Story
pioneer – n. person who is one of the first to do something
booster – n. part of a rocket that provides force for the launch and the first part of the flight
discard – v. throw something away after use
platform – n. raised structure with a flat surface
blooper – n. mistake, sometimes funny, made in public
mess up – v. make a mistake or do something wrong
epic – adj. very large or impressive