'Close, but No Cigar' for Landing on Historic SpaceX Mission

The company put one of its rockets to the ultimate test.

ByABC News
January 10, 2015, 5:22 AM

— -- A SpaceX rocket blasted off Saturday with cargo for the International Space Station – but according to founder Elon Musk, the mission's historic efforts to land the leftover booster on an ocean barge were unsuccessful.

"Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard. Close, but no cigar this time. Bodes well for future tho," Musk wrote on Twitter.

Having the ability to recycle rockets is something Musk previously said will "revolutionize access to space."

"If one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred," he said.

The SpaceX mission lifted off at 4:47 a.m. ET with 5,000 pounds of supplies for the astronauts.

Shortly after liftoff, the rocket detached and began a controlled descent to Earth, with SpaceX officials hopeful that the rocket would make a pinpoint landing on a floating platform.

The latest launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was called off with less than a minute to liftoff so SpaceX could troubleshoot an issue.

This is the fifth launch to the space station for the private company that is filling the gap for NASA after the space shuttles stopped flying.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.