SpaceX Launches Rocket Carrying Christmas Turkey and Fruitcake to the ISS

SpaceX Launches Rocket Carrying Christmas Turkey and Fruitcake to the ISS

If that first test of the unpiloted SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft goes well, a second test will fly astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station in June.

Unfortunately for SpaceX, the launch of the cargo resupply trip wasn't quite flawless.

SpaceX is contracted to carry out resupply missions to the ISS through 2024 using the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft. However, there was an unexpected failure during the landing of the first stage booster of the Falcon 9 rocket.

Television cameras switched away from the rocket a moment before impact, but amateur video showed the rocket extending its landing legs and slowing for landing on the power of a single engine, the normal procedure for touchdown.

Regardless the Dragon capsule fulfilled the mission's primary goal, soaring into orbit with 2,500 kilograms of cargo onboard.

Meanwhile, an attempt to recover the booster's first stage ended in failure when the booster appeared to spin out of control during its final descent, settling to an off-target "landing" in the Atlantic Ocean just east of the launch site.

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A stalled hydraulic pump for one of the booster's grid fins caused it to enter into a rapid spin on its return flight. "Ships en route to rescue Falcon", he wrote. As in this case, the launch itself had been successful; that time, though, a lack of fuel resulted in a botched landing.

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.

The launch was delayed for a day after NASA discovered that the food for the mouse-tronauts was moldy because of contamination.

Other experiments among the more than 250 on board include a new kind of mustard green lettuce that astronauts will grow in space.

This was SpaceX's sixteenth supply mission to the International Space Station.

It should arrive at the space station on Saturday.

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