Christmas Dinner Rocketed To International Space Station

Christopher Davidson
December 8, 2018

The hydraulic pump for the landing fins apparently stalled, but the engines stabilised the approximately 50m-tall booster just in time, allowing for "an intact landing in water!"

SpaceX's 12 previous ground landings - dating back to 2015 - all were successful.

- 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.

To cap off this very big week, Elon Musk's company today is planning to launch a Falcon 9 rocket loaded with thousands of pounds of cargo bound for the International Space Station (ISS). Although it is nearly without a doubt too early to actually know if the booster is in good enough condition to ever fly again, Musk seemed to directly suggest that it could eventually relaunch in support of an "internal SpaceX mission", basically either Starlink or tech development.

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A SpaceX rocket carrying 64 small satellites lifted off from California on Monday, marking the first time the same Falcon 9 rocket has been used in three space missions. "Now, the good news is we've got a lot of telemetry from it, so we'll be able to understand what happened and work to improve reliability as we always do here at SpaceX". "Dragon, you saw separate, and now the solar arrays coming out". This launch is scheduled to be the 16 of 20 that SpaceX was contracted to do for NASA.

However, the launch was marred by a system failure on the rocket which caused it to land in the sea, instead of on land SpaceX at Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, as planned. The company's most recent Falcon 9 first stage landing failure was in June 2016. Musk added that the Falcon 9 appears to be undamaged and is transmitting data. Another investigation, which will study muscle degeneration, will make use of 36,000 tiny worms.

Other experiments among the more than 250 on board include a new kind of mustard green lettuce that astronauts will grow in space. According to NASA, the Rocket experiment will test the reliability in space of a dental glue activated by ultraviolet light, while the Groot experiment will explore an alternative method for watering plants in a zero-gravity environment.

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