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SpaceX Rocket Explodes Shortly After Takeoff on Elon Musk's Birthday (Video)

Reusable rockets? Still not a thing.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded a couple of minutes after liftoff on Sunday morning, once again keeping the idea of a “reusable” rocket from becoming a reality. Not exactly the birthday gift that CEO Elon Musk, who turns 44 today, had in mind.

The rocket, known as Falcon 9, was designed to shoot a container into space that would deliver cargo to the International Space Station. Among the items on board were Microsoft HoloLens smart glasses that astronauts were going to use.

“Falcon 9 experienced a problem shortly before first stage shutdown,” Musk said in a tweet. “Will provide more info as soon as we review the data.”

The explosion happens around the 23:45 minute mark on the video below.

SpaceX has been trying, unsuccessfully thus far, to get the first stage of the rocket to guide itself back down after separation and land on a platform intact. If the company can get a rocket booster to stick the landing, reusable rockets could become a thing and significantly bring down the cost of shooting stuff and people into space, the company has said.

Update: For now, this is the closest thing we have to an explanation of what went wrong:

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