Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Science | By

SpaceX to Launch Dragon Resupply Mission Wednesday

SpaceX to Launch Dragon Resupply Mission Wednesday

After a 24-hour delay due to bad mice food, SpaceX is targeting Wednesday afternoon to launch supplies to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Groans filled SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, as live video showed the first-stage booster spinning out of control, still high above Cape Canaveral.

The cause of the rocket's spin, according to Musk, was a stalling out of one of the rocket's "grid fin hydraulic pump". Musk added that the Falcon 9 appears to be undamaged and is transmitting data. Musk also indicated that ships were en route to retrieve the booster.

It was the first missed landing at Cape Canaveral.


Koenigsmann said the booster deliberately avoided land after sensing a problem, a built-in safety feature, and even managed to touch down upright in the Atlantic, atop its landing legs. After more than two dozen successful rocket landings, SpaceX's most recent attempt resulted in a splashdown, though the rocket remained intact and was retrieved by the company.

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. It should reach the space station at the weekend. SpaceX was scheduled to launch the Falcon 9 carrying the supplies on Tuesday but delayed the launch until Wednesday.

The Dragon spacecraft that will support the CRS-16 mission previously supported the CRS-10 mission in February 2017. The private company expects to start launching station crews next year.

The spacecraft will also carry a module to test robotically refueling liquid methane; an instrument that will use near-infrared lasers to measure the heights of Earth's forests; an experiment that will measure how bacteria biofilms grow in microgravity; a setup to grow large, pure protein crystals for analysis; and two student projects from NASA's and Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" Space Station Challenge. The newest residents will remain on board for six months, while the others will return to Earth on December 20. Today, the uncrewed Dragon cargo capsule is scheduled to blast off from Florida at 1:16 p.m., with the rocket returning for a landing just south of its launch pad.

Like this: