SpaceX Suffers Malfunction in Landing of Falcon 9 ISS Resupply Mission

Mindy Sparks
December 6, 2018

On top of that, the mission was performed using one of SpaceX's used (sorry, "flight proven") rockets, and its subsequent landing made it the first rocket to be launched and landed three times.

And earlier today (Wednesday Dec. 5th), SpaceX launched its sixteenth Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-16) to the International Space Station (ISS).

The first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket topples onto its side after splashing down in the ocean during a failed landing attempt on December 5, 2018.

Forty mice will live aboard the space station in specially designed habitats as part of a study focusing on how microgravity affects bone density, muscle mass and internal organs.

Dragon will now soon arrive at the Space Station Saturday carrying more than 5,600 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware.

Watch the launch live on beginning at 1 p.m.

According to, if all goes according to plan, the Dragon will reach the space station three days from now, and the ISS crew can start unpacking the load. "Dragon confirmed in good orbit", followed shortly thereafter by confirmation that its solar arrays had deployed. The booster toppled over but remained afloat, and SpaceX was sending out boats to tow the stage back to the harbor at neighboring Port Canaveral.

It's unclear exactly how the first stage stopped its roll, Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX vice president of build and flight reliability, said during a postlaunch news conference today.

The webcast below should begin about 20 minutes before liftoff. This was apparently due to the failure of one of the grid fins, which stabilize the first stage during its descent.

Luckily, the mission controllers were able to stabilize the rocket in time with some bursts from the engine, bringing the first stage in for a soft landing on water off the coast of Florida. At 10:34 am PST (0:34 EST), Musk tweeted the apparent cause of the failed landing and addressed possible changes to avoid similar problems in the future. The newest residents will remain on board for six months, while the others will return to Earth on December 20. Musk also indicated that ships were en route to retrieve the booster. The Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth in mid-January. Other scientific payloads will provide high-resolution laser ranging observations to assess forest ecosystems and their role in Earth's carbon cycle, analyze crystals of antioxidant protein that will be grown in zero-G, serve as antioxidants, and test a system for refueling spacecraft in orbit.

Musk also addressed the video dropout in another tweet, calling the webcast cutaway a mistake.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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