This evening I watched probably one of the coolest live webcasts I've ever witnessed - the second test launch of SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket. Unfortunately, after stage separation, things went a little awry:
To recap, the Falcon 1 rocket blasted off at 0110 GMT (9:10 p.m. EDT) tonight on a demonstration test flight from Omelek Island in the central Pacific Ocean. The first stage engine, which had experienced an abort on the pad earlier tonight due to low chamber pressure readings, powered the rocket skyward for nearly three minutes. The spent stage then separated for a planned parachute-aided splashdown in the ocean for recovery.
The second stage ignited and the rocket's nose cone jettisoned as the ascent continued. About two minutes into the second stage firing, a SpaceX spokeswoman said the stream of telemetry data from the rocket had been lost and the company's webcast showing video from cameras mounted on the rocket was turned off.
Some oscillations could be seen in the last bit of video from a camera mounted on the second stage before the webcast stopped. Later SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that the rocket didn't reach the intended orbit and "the high likelihood" was that it re-entered the atmosphere. The rolling motion caused the second stage engine to shut down early. Despite the problem, Musk considers this to be "a very good day" for SpaceX.
Update: High quality [40M] video available here