SpaceX rocket booster misses landing as supplies sent to space

Pablo Tucker
December 6, 2018

This mission also served as the first time SpaceX launched the same booster a third time.

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.

SpaceX continued to receive data from the booster even as it tossed in the waves after the unexpected soggy landing. His interest in space, and his background in journalism and public relations suit him for his focus on research and development activities at NASA Glenn Research Center, and its Plum Brook Station testing facility, both in northeastern Ohio.

"Falcon landed just out to sea".


The CRS-16 mission is SpaceX's fourth resupply flight to the space station this year, but the first daytime launch in several months.

"Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea", he said.

For decades rocket stages were built, used once, and then essentially disposed of when they were allowed to fall back to Earth and be largely destroyed upon impact with the ocean.

"Some landing systems are not redundant, as landing is considered ground safety critical, but not mission critical. Given this event, we will likely add a backup pump & lines", he tweeted.


SpaceX wasn't the only one to film the dramatic moment. (Turn on the sound to hear their commentary.) Don't out-of-control rockets blow themselves up?

After a one day delay caused by moldy mice food, the latest SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft lifted off Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Only reigniting the booster's engines for a precise landing burn would have pulled it off that trajectory and toward the ground pad. SpaceX changed that with its reusable rockets that are smart enough to perform soft landings, though not without failing many times before perfecting it. "And, as much as we are disappointed in this missed landing - or landing in the water, rather, instead of land - it shows the system overall knows how to recover from certain malfunctions".

As for the Dragon capsule, everything looks good to go as SpaceX is reuses a capsule that previously sent supplies to the space station in February 2017. It's SpaceX's 16th cargo mission as part of its contract with NASA.

The rocket launched Wednesday was brand new and it is not clear yet what went wrong with the grid fin.


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