SpaceX launches cargo to space station

Share

The company will, however, attempt to land the first stage of the rocket back at Cape Canaveral for re-use in future missions.

The rocket blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, arcing over the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles as it headed toward space.

According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Twitter, a hydraulic pump on one of the first stage grid fins stalled, so the booster ended up splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean rather than coming in for a landing at a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

A SpaceX commentator called it a "bummer", but noted it was secondary to the Falcon 9 rocket's main mission of getting the Dragon capsule to orbit. Although it is nearly without a doubt too early to actually know if the booster is in good enough condition to ever fly again, Musk seemed to directly suggest that it could eventually relaunch in support of an "internal SpaceX mission", basically either Starlink or tech development.

The Falcon 9 will blast off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. "Ships en route to rescue Falcon", he wrote.

There was an initial mishap on takeoff as the SpaceX booster missed its landing zone on the ground, ending up in the sea instead.

More news: Mortal Kombat 11 Revealed, Looks Characteristically Gory, OTT

Those who had tickets to Tuesday's launch from LC-39 were in luck because the Kennedy Space Center was going to honor those tickets for the launch Wednesday. There will be plenty of room on board for all the tiny nematodes.

But as the Associated Press reports, the launch was delayed by a day because food for some of the station's other residents was moldy. They're away from their families and friends for months on end, don't have access to numerous basic creature comforts we all enjoy, and live on a somewhat limited selection of food... unless, of course, it's Christmas.

The International Space Station now has six crewmembers; three arrived Monday (Dec. 3), and three have been there since June. The newest residents will remain on board for six months, while the others will return to Earth on December 20.

Watch on NASA TV below, or at NASA's website, or via SpaceX's own webcast.

And last, but not least, the Monday launch marked the 19th such operation this year, an unprecedented achievement by a single company.

Share