SpaceX suffers 'bummer' landing as rocket's first-stage booster crashes on re-entry

Mindy Sparks
December 8, 2018

Twenty years ago this week, Cabana commanded the shuttle mission that carried up the first USA part of the space station.

Although, the Falcon 9 landed in the ocean, it was still close enough to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for local residents to hear the double-sonic boom in nearby Cocoa Beach, Florida. It's the first time that's happened since the groundbreaking launch of the company's Falcon Heavy spacecraft in February.

SpaceX founder and lead designer Elon Musk quickly explained that a hydraulic failure on the steering fins prevented a safe landing.

Coverage is expected to begin on NASA TV around 12:45 p.m. EST Wednesday ahead of the 1:16 p.m. launch.

It's been a busy time for Elon Musk and SpaceX, lately. In the background, viewers could still hear the team on-console making callouts as the rocket's landing burn started, culminating in a call for the landing team to "move to contingency procedure [s]", the only SpaceX affirmation that something went wrong.

SpaceX successfully launched ISS cargo from Cape Canaveral in Florida this afternoon, and as it has 26 times in the past, planned to land its Falcon 9 rocket for reuse. SpaceX usually lands the rocket's booster and refurbishes it for another flight.

The Dec. 3 mission is the largest single "rideshare" from a US -based launch vehicle to date, according to SpaceX.

By now, it's routine for the Falcon 9 rocket first stages to make dramatic upright landings a few miles from their launch pads or out at sea on barges.

It should arrive at the space station on Saturday morning.

Other experiments among the more than 250 on board include a new kind of mustard green lettuce that astronauts will grow in space. It weighs in at 5,600 pounds, and while much of the shipment is fairly typical of a resupply mission, there's also a very special holiday dinner packed away that some of the crew members will get to enjoy when Christmas rolls around.

The arrival of the Dragon spacecraft will also be the subject of a live webcast.

The International Space Station now has six crewmembers; three arrived Monday (Dec. 3), and three have been there since June.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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