Here’s how to watch SpaceX’s Dragon take off for the space station

James Marshall
December 5, 2018

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

The live feed from the rocket cut away on the SpaceX webcast, but video from people in the media area at the cape showed the Falcon 9 appearing to regain control before making an unplanned landing in the water rather than ashore at the landing area. Twenty years ago this week, Cabana commanded the shuttle mission that carried up the first USA part of the space station.

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.

On Monday, it launched a Falcon 9 rocket from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, which was headed to space-and the record books.

The Dragon capsule should reach the orbiting lab Saturday.

Falcon 9 B1050 fought til the end, coming to a shockingly soft landing despite spinning rapidly.

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. Remarkably, it seems SpaceX may still be able to recover the rocket.

Falcon 9 B1050 seen shortly before a grid fin lost control, throwing the rocket into a near-uncontrollable spin.

'Appears to be undamaged & is transmitting data. 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. "Given this event, we will likely add a backup pump & lines". 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. The last time a regular Falcon 9 launch ended with a failed landing was June of 2016.

It 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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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