Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

SpaceX set to send cargo to space station

SpaceX set to send cargo to space station

SpaceX launched the holiday shipment on a Falcon 9 rocket, which pierced the clear, chilly sky.

Wednesday's Falcon rocket was brand new, while the Dragon cargo carrier was recycled by SpaceX.

TAMPA: SpaceX on Wednesday blasted off its unmanned Dragon cargo ship, loaded with supplies, science experiments and food for the astronauts living at the International Space Station but failed to successfully land its booster afterwards. The company expects to start launching station crews next year.

The Falcon 9 will blast off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

And Friday also see, United Launch Alliance's powerful Delta IV Heavy rocket launch from California Vandenberg Air Force Base - a classified spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office.

A Falcon 9 begins to spin wildly on its landing approach.


The cause of the rocket's spin, according to Musk, was a stalling out of one of the rocket's "grid fin hydraulic pump".

The Falcon 9 is equipped with four fins that rise perpendicular to the body of the rocket as the craft descends, to help slow and control its approach for landing.

It seems that once the stalled fin extended fully, the rocket nearly regained control and came in for a landing almost like normal, but off target, in the water.

CEO Elon Musk further noted that Falcon 9 B1050 - despite landing in the ocean - was intact and still transmitting telemetry, potentially allowing SpaceX to still recovery the forlorn rocket. "Given this event, we will likely add a backup pump & lines". It was the company's first missed ground landing, although it has overshot floating barges plenty of times in the past, a tougher feat to pull off. The Dragon capsule will deliver more than 5,600 pounds of food and supplies to the crew, as well as scientific experiments, including the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation, which will measure the impact of climate change on the world's forests.

First published December 5, 11:13 a.m. PT. Update, 12:38 p.m. PT: Adds more details about the launch.

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