Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

SpaceX breaks 4 records with Falcon 9 launch from California

SpaceX breaks 4 records with Falcon 9 launch from California

When SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy, which is essentially powered by three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together, the center booster didn't land as planned on a drone-ship in the Atlantic, though the two other rockets returned to ground safely.

Dragon will now soon arrive at the Space Station Saturday carrying more than 5,600 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware. It marked the first time the same booster flew three separate missions. The fact that the team officially confirmed yesterday's successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket for which the current session was the third in a row - and this is not surprising, considering the truly long-term operation.

"The first stage did land in the water", SpaceX spokesperson John Insprucker said during a live webcast. The hydraulic pump for the landing fins apparently stalled, but the engines stabilized the approximately 160-foot-tall booster just in time, allowing for "an intact landing", Musk noted via Twitter.

The mission was SpaceX's 16th mission for NASA as part of a long-term contract to ferry supplies to space. Remarkably, it seems SpaceX may still be able to recover the rocket.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk said the booster appeared to be undamaged.

The bad food was replaced ahead of Wednesday's launch. The Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Space Station Challenge is sponsoring student experiments to develop a UV-activated dental glue that could help astronauts on long-duration voyages and another testing a mist-based irrigation system for plants grown 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.

See that small space station?

The timing of the holiday doesn't work out well for three of the crew members now aboard the space station. The Monday Soyuz trip marked the first crew flight since an anomaly during launch grounded another crew in October. The Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth in mid-January. Newcomers Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques will stay until June.

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