At Friday’s press conference in Washington, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that the effort to “soft land” the Falcon 9’s first stage in the ocean was a success, even though rough seas prevented them from recovering the stage. Musk at the time said SpaceX had video of the rocket’s descent taken from the stage itself, and would release after making efforts to clean it up.
Late yesterday, SpaceX did release the video, in both its original form as well as a “repaired” version, since the original footage is so garbled as to make it all but impossible to determine what is going on. (The company doesn’t explain why the video is in such poor condition; that is, whether it was a technical problem with the camera or poor transmission of the imagery.) The repaired version isn’t much better, but at 14 seconds into the video, there is a flash of clarity: the stages landing legs extended as the stage descends vertically to the choppy waters below.
SpaceX is providing the raw video files as well in the hopes that others can find better ways to clean up the imagery.
Musk said Friday that SpaceX would make another recovery attempt on its next Falcon 9 launch, of six ORBCOMM satellites. ORBCOMM announced this morning that this launch is scheduled for the morning of May 10 from Cape Canaveral.