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Drones

Adorable SpaceX Falcon 9 drone sticks its watery landing

A mini-me version of SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9 rocket attempts a landing on a barge in a pool, and it's a thing of beauty.

SpaceX's quest for a reusable rocket has been through many challenges, culminating in a triumphant landing of the Falcon 9 on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this year. The first four tries resulted in explosions, a fate that a cute drone version of the Falcon 9 manages to avoid. YouTuber user ajw61185, who also created a Star Wars Imperial Speeder Bike drone, built the drone and a floating landing barge.

The drone flies thanks to four small rotors at the bottom where the thrusters would be on the real rocket. The barge is painted to match the big one used by SpaceX. It floats in a pool to help add a sense of realism to the drone landing. The drone's vertical design makes it look challenging to fly, but the operator guides it safely into place.

The drone is crafted using model rocket parts mixed with custom-made pieces. A removable "flame" attaches to the bottom. Despite the beautiful landing captured on video, the drone doesn't always behave. An extended cut of the footage shows it veering off course several times. Ajw61185 made the drone just for fun and has no intention of producing a kit version. If you don't have drone-modifying skills of your own, you can still play a Flash video game version of the Falcon 9 landing. Good luck. It's hard to succeed.

(Via The Verge)