After flying to the edge of space, a spent SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster successfully returned to Earth, deployed its landing legs, and hovered for a moment. The ability, known as a soft landing, could allow the company to dramatically reduce the cost of spaceflight and one day land rockets on Mars. Because it came down at a spot in the Atlantic Ocean, SpaceX’s rocket had nothing solid to land on. It crashed into the ocean and was lost to large waves from a storm before the company could get a boat out to recover it. But in the next few months, SpaceX hopes to reproduce the achievement.Spaceship doesn't actually go into space, then crashes and is lost in the sea. Is Mars next? Possibly not.
You can call flying to the "edge of space" -- you know, like planes have done for generations -- "spaceflight" if you like. You can call crashing into the sea -- you know, like rockets and shuttles have done for generations -- a "soft landing" if you like. You can call a craft lost at sea -- you know, like crafts have done through the whole of recorded human history -- "success" if you like.
I lost my housekeys in the ocean once. It didn't seem like success, particularly. But, then, I didn't have the can-do innovatorial entrepreneurial zeal in the moment to ask the real question demanded by that moment, staring into the foam beneath the setting sun, searching for the keys to my home... Is Mars next?