SpaceX Sends Cargo Ship To International Space Station But Booster Landing Fails

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So a shipment of smoked turkey breast, cranberry sauce, candied yams and, of course, fruitcake was rocketed to the International Space Station Wednesday with delivery expected by Saturday.

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.

But the tall portion of the rocket missed its goal of securing an upright landing on the solid ground at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1.

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

"Appears to be undamaged and is transmitting data".

In a tweet, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk attributed the crash to a stalled hydraulic pump (which controls the fins on the rocket). On Dec. 3, SpaceX flew a different "block 5" rocket for the third time, landing it successfully for future re-use.

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Altogether, the company has recovered 32 boosters following liftoff - 33 once this one is towed back, said Hans Koenigsmann, a SpaceX vice-president.

Koenigsmann said the booster deliberately avoided land after sensing a problem, a built-in safety feature, and even managed to touch down upright in the Atlantic, atop its landing legs.

Regardless the Dragon capsule fulfilled the mission's primary objective, soaring into orbit with 2,500 kilograms of cargo onboard. It should reach the space station at the weekend.

The mold had grown on food for 40 mice which, along with 36,000 worms, were also shipped to the space station for aging and muscle studies. Scientists expect a tenfold increase in the worm population. There will be plenty of room on board for all the tiny nematodes. "All told, another great day for SpaceX and NASA".

The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was delayed. 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.