Innovation’s essential ingredient: Failure [video]

People watching plume of smoke (© Bill Ingalls/NASA/AP Images)
Spectators watch a qualification motor test for the Space Launch System's booster on June 28, 2016, in Promontory, Utah. (© Bill Ingalls/NASA/AP Images)

All the great successes of U.S. scientific and technological innovation start with some failure.

SpaceX — the first private company to launch NASA astronauts into space — didn’t successfully return a rocket booster to Earth on the first try, or on the first 10 tries, as this video shows:

That’s the beauty of scientific and technological research in the U.S.: there are endless possibilities to learn from mistakes.

As Thomas Edison said about his years of trial and error inventing the light bulb: “I haven’t failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”