SpaceX sends Dragon to ISS but makes unplanned water landing

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 4:10

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 4:10

The launch was delayed one day after mold was discovered on food bars meant for rodents included in one of the experiments aboard the flight.

The CRS-16 mission is SpaceX's fourth resupply flight to the space station this year, but the first daytime launch in several months.

In what has become a rare sight, the Falcon 9 vertical on the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station awaiting blast off is a new rocket.

The failure of a Falcon 9 first stage to make its planned landing after a December 5 launch shouldn't affect plans for upcoming launches, a SpaceX executive said. After their stints in space, the mice will be euthanized so that their tissues can be compared with samples from earthbound mice.

A SpaceX commentator called it a "bummer", but noted it was secondary to the main mission of getting the Dragon capsule to orbit.

Meanwhile, the Dragon spacecraft continues on its way to the space station, carrying fresh mouse food; new science and engineering experiments; and plenty of other goodies. Other scientific payloads will provide high-resolution laser ranging observations to assess forest ecosystems and their role in Earth's carbon cycle, analyze crystals of antioxidant protein that will be grown in zero-G, serve as antioxidants, and test a system for refueling spacecraft in orbit.

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The former Arkansas governor was mocking the 28-year-old democratic socialist for comparing her election this November to the 1969 Moon landing.

The worms are scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday. The private company expects to start launching station crews next year. He also tweeted a video of the booster's water landing. The early Falcon 9 rocket stages proved that the model was viable, but the Block 5 is capable of being used up to 100 times before finally needing to be disposed of.

Hypersonic grid fins help the booster steer its way back for a precision touchdown.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk said the booster appeared to be undamaged.

"The vehicle kept well away from anything where it could pose even the slightest risk to population and property", he said during a post-launch briefing.

"So, public safety was well-protected here", Koenigsmann said.

What exactly went wrong is entirely unclear but roughly 30 seconds before a planned landing at LZ-1, Falcon 9 B1050 - shown live on SpaceX's webcast - began to spin at an increasingly rapid pace, visibly losing some of its aerodynamic control authority before SpaceX cut the live feed. The mission, which was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, delivered a whopping 64 tiny satellites into orbit, which is the most in a single mission in the history of USA spaceflight.

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