How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster (and still be a successful rocket scientist) 2


The persistent and dedicated people at SpaceX have provided us with many lessons on rocket science in this must-watch video. It proves they also have a healthy sense of humor.

Not only will you learn 11 ways how NOT to land an orbital rocket (by my count), you will learn two other very important lessons:

  1. Rocket science isn’t easy!
  2. The world belongs to those who persevere.

#2 is a quote from one of my heroes, Nathaniel Branden.

As we come up to another Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, let’s give thanks to all of the rocket scientists and aerospace professionals who have persisted to provide us with many marvelous achievements that we enjoy today.

As just one important example, if GPS played a role to help your family gather for this Thanksgiving holiday, you need to thank the rocket scientists who created, launched, and maintain the GPS satellites orbiting our planet Earth at this very moment!

Now enjoy this video from SpaceX that shows – in very dramatic fashion – how not to land an orbital rocket booster.

If you want to know how to be a successful rocket scientist in today’s world, you’ll also want to check out this.

Happy Thanksgiving, and happy rocket landings!


About Brett Rocket Scientist

Brett creates artful work in aerospace and innovation. He is currently a project manager, author, and speaker. Sometimes he is still an engineer and music composer.


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2 thoughts on “How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster (and still be a successful rocket scientist)

  • Charles J Gervasi

    Space operas make it look easy. I have been resigned to space travel technology decreasing all my life.

    I have a colleague who went to work at Planetary Resources. I’m actually confused. Is space travel very difficult? Or might we see robots mining space for profit within decades?

    • Brett Rocket Scientist Post author

      Hi Charles. We know how to do space travel quite well with robots. Keeping people alive and safe during extended periods in space is still a huge challenge. We might see robots mining asteroids for profit but this becomes a very difficult job for a robot. Plus, the materials aren’t worth anything unless they are brought back to Earth. Or perhaps the moon, if we have people waiting for the supplies there.
      Making a round trip in space travel is much harder than a one-way trip. It’s easy to through a boomerang, but not very easy to have it come back to you perfectly. You also have to bring all the return fuel with you, which leaves less capacity for a payload like valuable minerals.