SpaceX launches cargo, but fails to land rocket

Katie Ramirez
December 8, 2018

SpaceX has enjoyed notable success landing its Falcon 9 rocket, which enables the company to reuse the vehicle for decreased costs, among other things.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:16 p.m. local time.

The CRS-16 mission launched supplies to the ISS on Wednesday, but the booster headed for the landing pad missed and landed in the water instead, ending SpaceX's ideal record of 12 previous successful landings.

Despite the landing, the mission successfully placed in orbit its Dragon uncrewed cargo spacecraft.

"Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea", CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter.

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SpaceX spokesperson John Insprucker said that the team will use the telemetry from the first-stage booster to find out the reason behind the failed landing.

SpaceX is in a long-term contract with NASA to ferry supplies to space. Through this cargo, Species was sending supplies science experiments and food to astronauts living at the International Space Station.

Meanwhile, an attempt to recover the booster's first stage ended in failure when the booster appeared to spin out of control during its final descent, settling to an off-target "landing" in the Atlantic Ocean just east of the launch site. The booster's engines managed to slow it down and stabilize it before the booster extended its landing legs, hit the surface and toppled over.

The Falcon rocket used for Wednesday's launch was not used in any prior mission.

Dragon is slated to rendezvous with the orbiting lab early Saturday and re-enter Earth's atmosphere and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California in January, according to NASA.

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