Watch the SpaceX Falcon 9 land on a barge in 360 degrees

SpaceX is all about advancing space travel with the view of creating a colony on Mars. Founder and CEO Elon Musk has made no secret of his desire to die on the Red Planet – “just not on impact,” as he says. To that end, the main barrier to affordable space travel is the expense of rockets, which in the past have been strictly only good for one launch each. And they’re pricey: each Falcon 9 rocket costs about $60,000,000 to build.

Reusable rockets are the answer, and the company has made some huge leaps in that arena. At the start of the year they managed to land a rocket on land proving the concept, and just last month they managed to do the same on a floating sea barge. And now you can see what it would be like to witness that feat, were you to be standing on said sea barge when the rocket made its descent.

Nobody would recommend standing this close in real life, of course.

The above video is 360 degrees, meaning you can look around the scene as the rocket approaches.  Better still, put it in a Cardboard headset to see the whole thing in VR, with the phone tracking your head movements.

The majority of those 360 degrees are wasted, of course – not much is going on behind you – but being able to look up and track the rocket as it changes from a small speck in the distance to a hulking metal structure up close and personal is a sight to behold. Watching said behemoth come to a graceful stop metres away shows you in real terms exactly what an amazing thing Elon Musk and his team have managed.

This might be the best use of 360-degree video yet, although flying through Dali’s paintings is definitely a close second.

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