Weather Could Cause Delay of SpaceX Cargo Mission Launch to ISS

09 December, 2018, 14:44 | Author: Ann Santiago
  • Dragon Falcon 9 launch CRS-14

Elon Musk's company succeeded in its primary mission of sending a Dragon spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station to deliver supplies, but the first stage of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle appeared to lose control as it approached Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, with liftoff scheduled for 10:16 a.m. California time.

CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter soon after the breathtaking loss of control and expected landing time, stating that the SpaceX team now pegged the failure on a grid fin's stalled hydraulic fin, which ultimately caused the wild spinning seen in the webcast.

If what Musk says proves true, the rocket is certainly wet but not much worse for the wear after the landing and will be recovered which is pretty damn impressive. In all, more than 5,600 pounds of cargo were crammed into the ship and are expected to safely reach the ISS hatch on Friday, December 7.

It is carrying experiments in forest observation, protein crystal growth and in-space fuel transfer demonstration and supplies that will support the crew, station maintenance and dozens of the more than 250 investigations aboard the space station, NASA said in a statement.

Wednesday's Falcon rocket was brand new, while the Dragon cargo carrier was recycled by SpaceX.

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An automatic system within the booster sensed the problem, and sent the booster toward a "water landing" in the Atlantic.

The launch was initially scheduled for Tuesday, but was delayed due to *checks note* moldy mouse food.

But the primary goal of the flight, SpaceX's 20th so far this year, was to boost the Dragon cargo ship into the space station's orbit for a planned three-day rendezvous. It was the first time a rocket has been used for a third time.

A SpaceX commentator later called it a 'bummer, ' but noted it was secondary to the main mission of getting the Dragon capsule to orbit. Three of the crew members arrived earlier this week and they'll remain there for the next six months.

After separating from the second stage, and firing its engines to return to Earth, a video camera on board showed the first stage spinning.

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