The latest Falcon 9 mission launched successfully, but its reusable booster just missed sticking the landing thanks to a stalled hydraulic pump on the grid fin, according to a tweet by Elon Musk.
Footage captured by the Twitch streamer DazValdez, who was on the ground for the launch, managed to record the whole missed landing. And, as the footage shows, the Falcon 9’s first stage booster just missed the landing zone at Cape Canaveral.
The Tuesday flight from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida is delivering 5,600 pounds of equipment and supplies to the International Space Station that are supporting roughly 250 science experiments expected to occur on the station. And the flight marks the 16th supply run SpaceX has made out to the Space Station.
The Dragon craft separated from Falcon 9’s second stage as planned — at about roughly 10 minutes after liftoff. It’s now headed to the space station where it will attach on Saturday, December 8, according to a statement from the company. It’s the second flight out to the ISS for this particular Dragon spacecraft, which made its first run out in February 2017.
The next critical step for the latest SpaceX mission will be attaching the Dragon spacecraft to the station. To do that, ISS crew members will use the station’s 57.7 foot robotic arm to catch the capsule and attach it to the station’s orbiting laboratory.
The Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth in early January with about 4,000 pounds of cargo; it will splash down in the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Baja, Calif.
SpaceX has had a busy week already. Yesterday the company launched a commercial flight with a payload of 64 small satellites commissioned by the private space scheduling and freight hauling company Spaceflight Industries.
It was the first commissioned flight from Spaceflight, which has raised more than $200 million in venture capital financing to build a private spaceflight scheduling and rideshare service.
The first dedicated mission from Spaceflight to low Earth orbit proved successful as it launched the largest single rideshare mission from a U.S.-based launch vehicle to date.
Included in that mission were 15 microsats and 49 cubesats from commercial and government entities, including universities, startup companies and even a middle school, according to a statement from SpaceX.
In all, 17 countries were represented in the launch, including the U.S., Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the U.K., Germany, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Poland, Canada, Brazil and India.