CAPE CANAVERAL, Fl. (AP) – The Christmas turkey shot Wednesday towards the International Space Station, along with cranberry sauce, candied yams and the obligatory fruit cake. Its landing zone on the ground, however, fell directly into the sea just offshore ,
Groans filled the SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, California as live video showed that the first-stage booster was out of control, still high above Cape Canaveral. It was the company's first missed landing, although floating barges were often surpassed in the past. This was a harder task.
A SpaceX commentator called it "shame," but found that it was subordinate to the Falcon's main task was to get the Dragon's capsule into orbit. SpaceX boss Elon Musk said the booster seemed undamaged. The hydraulic pump for the flanks seemed to have stalled, but the engines stabilized the approximately 160-foot booster just in time and enabled "an intact landing," noted Musk via Twitter. "Ships on the way to save Falcon," he tweeted.
SpaceX's 12 previous landings – from 2015 – were all successful.
The disappointment was fueled by the successful flight of the Dragon capsule and its 5,600 pounds (2,500 kilograms of cargo) to reach the space station on Saturday.
"What a great day for a launch," Bob said Cabana, director of the Kennedy Space Center, Cabana commanded the shuttle mission that carried the first part of the US space station in the US 20 years ago this week.
In addition to the smoked turkey breast and all the other fixtures for the Christmas dinner, the Cabana Delivered 40 mice and 36,000 worms to age and age muscle studies.
Researchers expect a ten-fold increase in the worm population, with enough space for all the tiny nematodes on board and their muscles showing in structure and function to our muscles What makes them perfect laboratory replacement materials, said senior scientist Timothy Etheridge of the University of Exeter in En gland.
The launch was delayed by one day, when NASA found that the food for the mouse-tronauts were moldy because of the contamination. California had to bring in more food.
Just two days before, three astronauts arrived at the space station to join the three. The crew consists of two Americans, two Russians, one German and one Canadian. The youngest residents will stay on board for six months, while the others will return to Earth on December 20th.
SpaceX has been delivering stations for NASA since 2012. The private company plans to start station crews next year.