The unmanned mission, powered by a SpaceX rocket, accomplished its primary goal of carrying a satellite into low orbit. But its secondary goal -- to land the rocket upright on a floating platform called a droneship -- ended in a fiery explosion.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk posted a video of the botched landing on Instagram, showing the rocket setting down softly but then toppling over and exploding on impact.
The company, which initially said it thought the rocket experienced a "hard landing," explained that one of the legs failed to latch on the landing platform.
"Root cause may have been ice buildup due to condensation from heavy fog at liftoff," Musk said in his post. Read more on money.cnn.