SpaceX launches cargo, but fails to land rocket

Falcon rocket launching into space. Image via Pixabay

Falcon rocket launching into space. Image via Pixabay

Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launched a rocket carrying more than 5,600 pounds of crew supplies, science investigations and spacewalk equipment Wednesday as part of its longstanding contract with NASA to ferry cargo to the International Space Station.

The launch itself was a success, but landing the rocket for reuse didn't go as planned.

To the global space station kicked off the sixteenth mission of the cargo ship Dragon under the NASA contract with SpaceX.

After the successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket in the United States its marching step failed to return to the platform near the start. It appeared to be undamaged and was transmitting data, Musk said, adding that a recovery ship was sent to retrieve it.

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.

The rocket was directed away from the coastline and out to the Atlantic Ocean, where it managed to recover from its spin just before landing safely in the water.

Musk also tweeted a video from on board the booster, showing the rocket spinning uncontrollably until it regained stability at the last moment, but missed the landing pad.

This is the first time that SpaceX has failed to land the booster on the ground. 'Ships en route to rescue Falcon'.

The rocket was initially meant to take off Tuesday, but was delayed for a day after engineers discovered moldy mouse food in one of the science investigations created to study the effect of microgravity on the immune system.

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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