The rocket took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1:16 p.m. local time, a little more than 48 hours after SpaceX sent another Falcon 9 to space from the West Coast on Monday. SpaceX usually lands the rocket's booster and refurbishes it for another flight.
Elon Musk tweeted 'Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea'. So, despite the splashdown, you could still call it a pretty good day for the space company. It was 20 years ago, the same December week that Cabana directed a space shuttle mission carrying the first ever United States part of ISS. The Falcon 9 carried to a Sun Synchronous orbit 64 spacecraft, in particular 15 Micro satellites and 49 cubesats, from 34 different organizations from 17 countries.
The most recent previous landing failure for SpaceX was the core first-stage booster on its debut Falcon Heavy launch; the two side boosters made a flashy synchronized landing, but the central booster crashed. Musk added that the Falcon 9 appears to be undamaged and is transmitting data. It should reach the space station Saturday.
As has become standard practice for the California rocket builder, the Falcon 9's first stage was programmed to fly itself back to a landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station about eight minutes after launch in a bid to chalk up the company's 33rd successful booster recovery and its 12th at the Florida spaceport.
Forty mice depend on the food for the Rodent Research-8 project, which studies aging.
Astronauts who are lucky enough to score a gig aboard the International Space Station make a lot of sacrifices in the name of science.
Other experiments included in the mission include an effort to measure and perform 3D mapping of Earth's tropical and temperate forests; a test of a robotic technology to refuel spacecraft in space; and two student experiments inspired by the "Guardians of the Galaxy" films. The Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth in mid-January.
See that small space station?