A SpaceX Falcon rocket successfully sent a telecommunications satellite into space but was destroyed in a crash-landing on an ocean drone after soaring back to Earth.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the company did not expect the landing to be successful, adding that the rocket landed hard on the droneship.

It was the fourth time SpaceX was trying to land the Falcon 9 on a drone ship.

The pioneering space company had earlier said chances of a successful return landing at sea were slim, though the rocket had landed perfectly on the ground after a launch in December.

Though the return landing failed again the rocket accomplished its mission of putting a telecommunications satellite into space for its client.

The SES-9 satellite was dropped off at high altitude and will use its own propulsion to travel to its intended orbit, the Verge reported.