CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - More than 24 hours after a successful SpaceX launch to the International Space Station, crews are still trying to recover a Falcon 9 booster that made an unscheduled water landing.
But despite missing the mark at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the booster is still intact.
There's no official word on just when the recovery might happen, but that hasn't stopped a number of avid rocket watchers from waiting hours hoping see the booster float into port.
Minutes after launching 5,600 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware the first stage booster was set to touch down on a landing pad.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said a grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, but engines stabilized the rocket spin allowing an intact landing in water.
Right now, there's no word on when the booster will be brought to Port Canaveral where SpaceX has a launch support facility.
Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea. Appears to be undamaged & is transmitting data. Recovery ship dispatched.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 5, 2018
The Dragon capsule should reach the orbiting lab Saturday.
Tuesday’s scheduled launch was delayed after the crews needed more time to replace moldy food bars meant for 40 mice. The mice are part of a research experiment on the ISS.
Engines stabilized rocket spin just in time, enabling an intact landing in water! Ships en route to rescue Falcon. pic.twitter.com/O3h8eCgGJ7— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 5, 2018
"The Dragon spacecraft will carry supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will worked by the space station’s Expeditions 57 and 58 crews," a news release said.
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NASA said that some of the research heading to the ISS will use microgravity to create a retinal prosthetic to help restore vision to millions of people around the world who go blind due to retinal degenerative diseases.
3-2-1… LIFTOFF! @SpaceX’s cargo spacecraft leaves Earth for the @Space_Station, packed with more than 5,600 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware. Watch: https://t.co/N28BsWMMfC pic.twitter.com/a4wPdyQize— NASA (@NASA) December 5, 2018
"The Dragon spacecraft will spend about five weeks attached to the space station. Dragon will remain at the orbital outpost until Jan. 13, when the spacecraft will return to Earth with research and return cargo," the release said.
NASA said it also launched the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) to the ISS, which will create a 3D global map of forests from space to help scientists understand how much carbon is stored in trees on Earth.
Millions of people around the world go blind due to retinal degenerative diseases. But research heading to the @Space_Station will use microgravity to create a retinal prosthetic to help restore vision. Learn about @ISS_CASIS research launching tomorrow: https://t.co/iSW9lSPD5c pic.twitter.com/TxXh4KhfV6— NASA (@NASA) December 4, 2018
Tomorrow, we’re launching 🚀 GEDI - the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation - to the @Space_Station. GEDI will create a 3D global map 🌐 of forests from space, to help scientists understand how much carbon is stored in trees 🌳 around the planet 🌎https://t.co/k6sILbWp0o pic.twitter.com/tClbEQrl3d— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) December 4, 2018
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