Sat. Dec 15th, 2018

SpaceX’s Falcon rocket ditches in water after sending cargo to ISS (VIDEO)

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket failed to stick the landing after successfully launching a supply pod to the International Space Station. CEO Elon Musk says the livestream should not have cut away from the failure.

The CRS-16 mission launched supplies to the ISS on Wednesday, but the booster headed for the landing pad missed and landed in the water instead, ending SpaceX’s perfect record of 12 previous successful landings.

Musk also tweeted a video from on board the booster, showing the rocket spinning uncontrollably until it regained stability at the last moment, but missed the landing pad.

There was a problem with the grid fin hydraulic pump, he explained, so the rocket landed in the sea. It appeared to be undamaged and was transmitting data, Musk said, adding that a recovery ship was sent to retrieve it.

Some space-watchers griped about SpaceX cutting away from the botched landing in their live-stream of the event. Musk admitted that was a mistake, and vowed to “show all footage, good or bad.”

Falcon 9 is currently the only reusable rocket booster, which is a major selling point for SpaceX. The first-stage rockets have a 84 percent recovery rate, according to the company. It is unknown, however, whether this particular rocket will be certified for another launch, due to possible damage from contact with salt water.

The US military described Wednesday’s mission as “a successful launch but a non-nominal landing.”

Musk has the Pentagon beat when it comes to euphemisms, though. He once famously described the disastrous crash of an early Falcon 9 booster as “rapid unscheduled disassembly.”

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