One of my students said the other day, “My doctor said I almost have strep.” How do you “almost” have strep? You almost have the bacteria that causes strep. Just in that you almost have the ebola virus.
And in the case of the private rocket launch, they almost had a success. Which means they had a failure.
Not to rip unkindly on a noble project, however, the rocket did reach space, but did not deliver its payload into a standard orbit. So the first parts, ostensibly the most difficult parts of rocket delivery, were a success. It was just the final part that was a failure, and any failure in space-payload delivery is going to be a total failure.
I was secretly hoping this would be a total success as the private sector really needs to be the ones who launch sattelites and start developing space. But it wasn’t a total loss. The president of the company seems enthusiastic, and so am I. Good luck on your next launch!