SpaceX launches shipment carrying Christmas cheer to ISS

08 December, 2018, 15:29 | Author: Patty Aguilar
  • SpaceX Booster Heads for Ocean

The Space Coast launch Wednesday will be SpaceX's 16th under the company's commercial resupply contract for NASA.

For the first time in its history, was unable to land the reusable Falcon 9 stage.

SpaceX is set to launch its latest mission for NASA from Florida on Wednesday, sending supplies and experiments to the International Space Station.

The first stage was previously launched and recovered during missions in May and August as part of a program meant to make the equipment capable of being used 10 or more times without refurbishment.

According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Twitter, a hydraulic pump on one of the first stage grid fins stalled, so the booster ended up splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean rather than coming in for a landing at a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. NASA was working Tuesday to replace the rotten food in time for 1:16 p.m. launch time Wednesday.


Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the tradition dinner, even in space. Those projects will test dental glue and a plant-watering process for space. The single engine powering the second stage then was expected to ignite to continue the Dragon's climb to orbit. SpaceX was getting ready to tow it back to land at the time of the press conference.

If all goes well, the spacecraft will reach the station around 6 a.m. Saturday morning, pulling up to within about 30 feet and then standing by while station commander Alexander Gerst, operating the lab's robot arm, locks onto a grapple fixture.

Experiments onboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule include studies on wound healing in space, as well as two studies by students inspired by Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" will also launch to the orbiting laboratory.

The timing of the holiday doesn't work out well for three of the crew members now aboard the space station.

Recently on the ISS came a new crew on the ship "Union". Kononenko arrived at the station Monday along with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and NASA astronaut Anne McClain. The others return home on December 20, leaving only three for Christmas dinner, not counting the mice and worms.

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