SpaceX set to send cargo to space station

Olive Hawkins
December 8, 2018

The private company expects to start launching station crews next year.

The Falcon 9's cargo featured 15 microsats and 49 cubesats from commercial and government entities, ranging from universities, to startups, to even a middle school. That includes Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A in May (Bangabandhu-1); Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40 in August (Merah Putih); and now Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg.

The mold had grown on food for 40 mice which, along with 36,000 worms, were also shipped to the space station for aging and muscle studies.

A Falcon 9 begins to spin wildly on its landing approach.

The feed was then cut from the webcast, but groans and cheers could be heard from the crowd at SpaceX headquarters in California as SpaceX engineer Tom Praderio, who was co-hosting the webcast, conveyed the information about the rocket's water landing.

Unfortunately, SpaceX suffered a malfunction when a grin fin hydraulic pump stalled and Falcone landed out to sea.

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The production of one fairing SpaceX costs of $6 million, which is ten percent of the sales price of the launch of Falcon 9 with landing of the first stage. The video seems to show that one of the fins didn't initially extend all the way, causing the rocket to spin. Remarkably, it seems SpaceX may still be able to recover the rocket.

SpaceX CEO and lead designer Elon Musk tweeted that the reusable booster was undamaged and appeared to be transmitting data.

The mission had been a complete success until the aborted landing. An automatic system within the booster sensed the problem, and sent the booster toward a "water landing" in the Atlantic.

Falcon 9 successfully launched into orbit 64 satellite.

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.

- Three days and 3,000 miles apart, SpaceX is aiming for their second launch this week, this time with a cargo flight to the space station.

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