SpaceX releases raw video footage of Falcon 9 landing


May 1, 2014

Even cleaned up, the video footage is in extremely poor condition

Even cleaned up, the video footage is in extremely poor condition

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A picture is worth a thousand words, but not if the picture is a blurry, pixelated mess. That’s what SpaceX probably realized when it looked at the badly garbled video feed from the historic powered landing of a Falcon 9 booster last month. Having already had a go at cleaning up the video, the company has released the raw footage to the public in hopes of crowdsourcing the restoration effort.

The 28-second video shows the last moments of the Falcon 9 booster as it made a controlled, zero-velocity landing on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean on April 26. The landing was carried out after the rocket lifted the unmanned CRS-3 Dragon mission into orbit as part of a NASA contract to resupply the International Space Station.

After second-stage separation, the booster would normally have fallen back into the atmosphere to crash into the sea, but SpaceX equipped the Falcon 9 with a set of experimental landing legs. After separation, the booster fired its engine again for a re-entry burn. Then it deployed its legs and as it approached the surface of the ocean, it fired its engine for the last time to make a controlled soft landing at zero velocity as if on dry land. According to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, this had only a 50 percent chance of success, but telemetry readings indicated that the rocket did make a soft landing before the data feed was lost. Unfortunately, the video feed link turned out to be very weak and the landing itself was recorded as a turbulent jumble of visual noise.

“We’re trying to clean the video feed, so we have something that we can make sense of," in a press conference announcing the landing, Musk. We’re going to clean it up and post it on our website and try to crowdsource to see if people out there can make it even better.”

As part of this effort, SpaceX has posted both the raw and cleaned video files on its website and invites the public to have a go at fixing the video as part of a crowdsourcing effort. The company also invites the crowdsourcers to post their efforts on SpaceX’s Reddit page.

The videos below show the raw footage, and the initial effort at cleaning the footage.

Source: SpaceX

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past. All articles by David Szondy

This is the first colored 2 pixel movie I have seen. I laughed, I cried, it was better than casablanca.


Yes, another part of their "successful" landing...

The more I learn about SpaceX the less impressed I am.

It's like Steve Jobs in Space- people keep acting like Musk is single-handedly responsible for everything.

With as much resources&manpower as he has at his disposal, SpaceX should DEFINITELY be on the Moon by now...

Honestly, we should be beyond Rockets for just launching inanimate payloads into orbit.

Payloads CAN just be launched with technologies such as rocket sled launch,air launch,mass drivers... even Skyhooks!

Concepts such as the Magnetic Satellite Launch System could have been built for less money with far more advancement than just refining dinosaur Rocketry...

If Musk is all about eliminating combustion engines, why the heck is he sticking with the biggest&most wasteful combustion engines of all?

Riddle me that!


First, Casablanca is one of the great movies of all time, so there! Next, if all they had trouble with is some crappy video then the test was still a success. Next time out will go much better. It is important to pick up the pace a bit since the Russian deputy Prime Minister made the crack about NASA looking into using a trampoline to get to the ISS. The fairly obvious point is that the shuttle was shut down a few years too early. It was never a smart idea to rely on just one system to get a crew & cargo to a LEO orbit and especially so with an uncertain and largely untrustworthy partner like the Russians.


Well Mr Griffin... am I seeing you doing any of those clever suggestions.... I thought not...

Musk has not even a fraction of the resources available to the global rocket industry... yet, here he and his company is, giving us badly garbled images of something that has never even before in the history of the universe been considered to be possible, by anyone... ever, not even to mention attempting these utterly impossible feats of total impossibility...

So where does that put you on the technology ladder, exactly...

As far as Musk is concerned... the moon is low earth orbit.... so 70's , not even going to bother with it... shooting straight for that other thing.

Michiel Mitchell
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