SpaceX Suffers Malfunction in Landing of Falcon 9 ISS Resupply Mission

SpaceX Suffers Malfunction in Landing of Falcon 9 ISS Resupply Mission

SpaceX Suffers Malfunction in Landing of Falcon 9 ISS Resupply Mission

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.

The hydraulic pump for the landing fins apparently stalled, but the engines stabilized the approximately 160-foot-tall booster just in time, allowing for "an intact landing", Musk noted via Twitter.

The launch will be the 20th of the year for SpaceX.

Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to recover Falcon 9's first stage on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

It's been a busy time for Elon Musk and SpaceX, lately. The booster hovered just over the water, then toppled out of view - the first failure over land in the last 12 tries, though that's not quite how one of SpaceX's top engineers painted it.

The Dec. 3 mission is the largest single "rideshare" from a USA -based launch vehicle to date, according to SpaceX. As USA Today notes, the rocket's booster was the first Falcon 9 to launch three missions, an important part of the company's plan to reduce costs by reusing rockets.

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Other experiments included in the mission include an effort to measure and perform 3D mapping of Earth's tropical and temperate forests; a test of a robotic technology to refuel spacecraft in space; and two student experiments inspired by the "Guardians of the Galaxy" films.

- Three days and 3,000 miles apart, SpaceX is aiming for their second launch this week, this time with a cargo flight to the space station.

It will arrive with more than 5,500 pounds of supplies and research to support hundreds of experiments that are happening on board the ISS. Canadarm2) to capture the Dragon spacecraft and attach it to the orbiting laboratory. The Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth in mid-January.

And the Dragon brings a special treat for one class of spacecraft: It's carrying a satellite deployment system called SlingShot that can fit inside the Cygnus spacecraft's berth to deploy up to 18 cubesats.

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

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