Aerospace & Defense

SpaceX reusable rocket makes unsuccessful landing

Watch SpaceX rocket launch
Watch SpaceX rocket launch

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 Tuesday afternoon, but failed in another attempt to cleanly land the rocket on a platform out at sea.

The successful implementation of SpaceX's rocket recovery technology would mean significant cost savings as the launch vehicles become easily reusable. But Tuesday's attempt saw the rocket landing "too hard for survival," according to company CEO Elon Musk.

Musk tweet.

According to Musk, the landing was very nearly a total success.

Musk landing tweet.

An attempt in January to land a Falcon 9 rocket resulted in a hard landing on the barge.

SpaceX Vice President Hans Koenigsmann had put the odds of a successful landing on Tuesday at 75 or 80 percent, though his boss, Musk, on Monday said he saw a less than 50 percent chance.

Read MoreSpaceX, Elon Musk and the reusable rocket dream

With dozens of launches—and landing attempts—on the manifest, Musk wrote on Twitter that he estimates an 80 percent chance a Falcon 9 will nail the landing before the end of the year.

The SpaceX capsule attached to the Falcon 9 rocket holds more than 4,000 pounds of supplies ordered up by NASA for the International Space Station, much of it food.

Italy sent up a special espresso machine for Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who's been stuck with American instant coffee since fall. The Italians in charge of the project hope to revolutionize coffee-drinking in space.

Tuesday's launch left from Florida's Cape Canaveral station, where another launch had been scrubbed the day before because of nearby lightning.

As of 2:28 p.m. ET, SpaceX reported that the weather for Tuesday's launch was only a 60 percent "go."

SpaceX weather tweet.

—Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.