SpaceX Launches Cargo Ship to Space Station Misses Rocket Landing

first_imgStay on target SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Wednesday, December 5, from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, but after successfully propelling the Dragon capsule, loaded with cargo and supplies, on its way to the International Space Station, the rocket malfunctioned on its return to Earth and spiraled into a failed landing.A hydraulic pump on one of the first stage grid fins stalled, and the booster ended up splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean in a water landing, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk posted on Twitter.Engines stabilized rocket spin just in time, enabling an intact landing in water! Ships en route to rescue Falcon.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 5, 2018SpaceX was supposed to land the Falcon 9 rocket’s spent first stage at a pad on the ground at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida, called “Landing Zone 1.”Minutes after liftoff, the rocket’s first stage separated as normal, but as that booster part prepared into position for landing, it appeared to lose control and started spinning.Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea. Appears to be undamaged & is transmitting data. Recovery ship dispatched.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 5, 2018“The first stage did land in the water,” SpaceX spokesperson John Insprucker said during a live webcast. “Now, the good news is we’ve got a lot of telemetry from it, so we’ll be able to understand what happened and work to improve reliability as we always do here at SpaceX.”But even with the landing not going as planned, Insprucker emphasized the successful launch.“Second stage went into great orbit, it was really precise,” he added. “Dragon, you saw separate, and now the solar arrays coming out. All told, another great day for SpaceX and NASA.”This was SpaceX’s sixteenth supply mission to the International Space Station.SpaceX is set to demo its first crew capsule on January 7 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.The trial marks a milestone in NASA’s quest to once again deliver astronauts to the cosmos — for the first time the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011.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.More on Rehearses Recovery of Astronauts During Ocean Landings, Builds Helipad on ShipElon Musk Renames SpaceX’s Monster Rocket — AgainNASA Sets Date for Uncrewed SpaceX Rocket Launch ESA Satellite Avoids Potential Collision With SpaceX Starlink CraftSpaceX’s Starhopper Aces Final Test Flight in Texas last_img read more