SpaceX Booster Veers Off Course

SpaceX Booster Veers Off Course

To cap off this very big week, Elon Musk's company today is planning to launch a Falcon 9 rocket loaded with thousands of pounds of cargo bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

The rocket launch will be livestreamed from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This is why the booster managed to make an upright landing in the ocean.

Now, SpaceX head honcho Elon Musk has shared some clearer video of what, exactly, happened and what went wrong on the Falcon's journey back to Earth. The booster began spinning, but righted itself before it reached the water.

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. Two of the four grid fins are visible on the image in the tweet.

The first stage was previously launched and recovered during missions in May and August as part of a program meant to make the equipment capable of being used 10 or more times without refurbishment. It successfully landed on a drone ship.

The rocket carried 64 small satellite payloads on Monday, December 3, when it took off from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California.

Today's landing was meant to be on land. 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. Musk added that the Falcon 9 appears to be undamaged and is transmitting data.

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LZ 1 was built on the former site of Space Launch Complex 13, a Cold War-Era U.S. Air Force rocket and missile testing range last used in 1978. The count will be 33 after this booster is towed back properly, a vice president of SpaceX, Hans Koenigsmann said.

Today continues an extraordinary week for orbital launches. It could be that deployment of the landing legs stabilized the vehicle, but he said it needs to be investigated in detail. SpaceX is expected to conduct an uncrewed test launch of its passenger craft in 2019 and then conduct its first crewed test later in the year. NASA ISS Deputy Program Manager Joel Montelbano called it an "incredible launch".

A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft carrying almost 6,000 pound of research equipment, cargo and supplies has successfully launched to the International Space Station (ISS), NASA said on Thursday.

The launch was delayed a day when NASA discovered that the food for the mouse-tronauts was moldy.

Among the new experiments sent to the space station are the growth of ordered crystals of antioxidant proteins in microgravity that can protect the body from the effects of radiation and some harmful chemicals, and a mice study to understand the physiology of aging and the role it plays on the progression of disease in humans.

Dragon will arrive at the ISS about 6:00 am ET on Saturday morning where it will be grappled using the robotic Canadarm2 and then installed onto one of the ISS docking ports.

The timing of the holiday doesn't work out well for three of the crew members now aboard the space station. This is SpaceX's 16th Commercial Resupply Services mission for NASA (or CRS-16, for short).

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