SpaceX launches cargo to space station

After mice food delay, SpaceX set for space station resupply launch Wednesday

After mice food delay, SpaceX set for space station resupply launch Wednesday

SpaceX is expected to conduct an uncrewed test launch of its passenger craft in 2019 and then conduct its first crewed test later in the year. In the background, viewers could still hear the team on-console making callouts as the rocket's landing burn started, culminating in a call for the landing team to "move to contingency procedure [s]", the only SpaceX affirmation that something went wrong.

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.

Above all else, it's important to remember that the primary mission - sending Cargo Dragon to the ISS - continues to proceed nominally. Sensing trouble, the rocket automatically remained out to sea.

The mission was SpaceX's 16th mission for NASA as part of a long-term contract to ferry supplies to space. Among these were materials that are critical to supporting the ongoing research and investigations aboard the ISS.

The mission also marks SpaceX's 20th launch of the year. In other words, Falcon 9 performed fine during ascent and only exhibited off-nominal behavior during the booster's attempted landing after separating from the upper stage and Dragon payload. "Dragon confirmed in good orbit", followed shortly thereafter by confirmation that its solar arrays had deployed.

Minutes later, the rocket's first stage performed a so-called boost back maneuver and landed on an unmanned ship in the Pacific.

"We have had a great liftoff", said SpaceX commentator John Insprucker, as the Falcon 9 rocket soared into the sunny, blue sky over Cape Canaveral, Florida at 1:16 pm [1816 GMT], carrying 5,600 pounds [2,500 kilograms] of gear.

"Plan is to dry them out and launch again", Musk tweeted.

Today's mission is especially significant for Elon Musk's company.

While the first stage booster did not land as intended, the fact that it survived the descent is no small feat.

When the Dragon arrives, it will join five other spacecraft already at the station. Coverage of Dragon's rendezvous with the space station will begin at about 2:00 a.m. PST, or 10:00 UTC, on Saturday, December 8.

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