Watch SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket landing fail in style

Watch SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket landing fail in style

Watch SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket landing fail in style

There was a problem with the grid fin hydraulic pump, he explained, so the rocket landed in the sea.

The rest of the CRS-16 launch proceeded perfectly, with the Dragon spacecraft entering successful orbit, deploying its solar arrays, and beginning its chase of the ISS. The sight triggered a mixture of anxious "oohs" and "aahs" from SpaceX employees who were watching, then the booster's video feed cut out from the broadcast.

Christmas turkey rocketed toward the International Space Station on Wednesday, along with cranberry sauce, candied yams and the obligatory fruitcake.

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The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket on its operational cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Unfortunately the first-stage booster, that was scheduled to land back at the launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida, failed the approach and made a water landing off the coast.

But the tall portion of the rocket missed its goal of securing an upright landing on the solid ground at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1. SpaceX usually lands the rocket's booster and refurbishes it for another flight. CEO Elon Musk further noted that Falcon 9 B1050 - despite landing in the ocean - was intact and still transmitting telemetry, potentially allowing SpaceX to still recovery the forlorn rocket.

Altogether, the company has recovered 32 boosters following liftoff - 33 once this one is towed back, said Hans Koenigsmann, a SpaceX vice-president. The company also lands boosters on its drone ships in the ocean, but all of its land landings had been successful - until now. The change may simply have resulted from landing-leg deployment, he said. It should reach the space station Saturday. "Given this event, we will likely add a backup pump & lines".

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The booster may still be reusable, Musk said, indicating on Twitter that the company may use it for an "internal" SpaceX launch.

Wednesday's Falcon rocket was brand new, while the Dragon cargo carrier was recycled by SpaceX. "It knows where buildings are, so it's pretty smart in that aspect", he said of the landing system on the booster.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule is carrying more than 5,600 pounds of experiments, food - for astronauts and mice - and other supplies for the space station, according to NASA.

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The mission is SpaceX's 16th for NASA, as part of a long-term contract to ferry supplies to space.

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