A Christmas turkey, cranberry sauce, candied yams, and fruitcake were among Christmas items that were launched into space this week so that those spending Christmas day at the International Space Station could celebrate just like everyone else. Expect a landing back at the Cape for the brand new booster.
Monday witnessed both a Soyuz rocket blasting three newcomers to the ISS and a Falcon 9 rocket taking 64 smallsats into orbit 310 miles (500 km) above Earth.
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!"
Company SpaceX is really surprising even those fans of space technologies that are sufficiently well versed in them - today, the talented team proved once again that the vision of Elon musk for renewable in the use of missiles is becoming more and more form.
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. Musk noted via Twitter. "Ships en route to rescue Falcon", Musk tweeted along with a GIF of the first stage spinning during its descent. The mission was also historic because it involved a booster making its third successful landing. He did not know if it could be reused.
"The first stage did land in the water", SpaceX spokesperson John Insprucker said during a live webcast.
"Public safety was well protected here", he told reporters.
The disappointment was offset by the successful flight of the Dragon capsule and its 2500kg of cargo. It's scheduled to arrive Saturday morning. It turns out their muscles are similar to ours in structure and function, making them flawless lab substitutes, said lead scientist Timothy Etheridge of the University of Exeter in England.
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. 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.