Unfortunately, SpaceX suffered a malfunction when a grin fin hydraulic pump stalled and Falcone landed out to sea.
Experiments onboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule include studies on wound healing in space, as well as two studies by students inspired by Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" will also launch to the orbiting laboratory.
Falcon 9 B1050 seen shortly before a grid fin lost control, throwing the rocket into a near-uncontrollable spin.
Groans filled SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, as live video showed the first-stage booster spinning out of control, still high above Cape Canaveral.
The CRS-16 mission is SpaceX's fourth resupply flight to the space station this year, but the first daytime launch in several months. It was projected to land back at Landing Zone 1 in the Cape. This time around, the capture ship missed the nosecones but a tweet by Elon Musk explains that they touched down "softly in the water" which is a plus. The stage, he noted, continued to work even after tipping over into the water, going through a standard post-landing safing sequence and transmitting data. The first-stage rockets have a 84 percent recovery rate, according to the company.
- Three days and 3,000 miles apart, SpaceX is aiming for their second launch this week, this time with a cargo flight to the space station. "Given this event, we will likely add a backup pump & lines".
The rocket launched Wednesday was brand new and it is not clear yet what went wrong with the grid fin.
Ocean platform landings have proven a bit trickier, but SpaceX has managed to stick the landing, whether on land or sea, 32 times in all. SpaceX redesigned those COPVs after a September 2016 pad explosion in order to meet NASA safety requirements for future commercial crew missions. "It knows where buildings are, so it's pretty smart in that aspect", he said of the landing system on the booster. The company's next launch, of the first Global Positioning System 3 satellite for the U.S. Air Force, is scheduled for no earlier than December 18, followed by the launch of the final 10 Iridium Next satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California no earlier than December 30.
Dragon will now soon arrive at the Space Station Saturday carrying more than 5,600 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware.
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