After mice food delay, SpaceX set for space station resupply launch Wednesday

SpaceX Suffers Malfunction in Landing of Falcon 9 ISS Resupply Mission

SpaceX successfully launched ISS cargo from Cape Canaveral in Florida this afternoon, and as it has 26 times in the past, planned to land its Falcon 9 rocket for reuse. Unfortunately the first-stage booster, that was scheduled to land back at the launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida, failed the approach and made a water landing off the coast.

Following stage separation, the first stage booster landed safely on one of SpaceX's sea-faring pads, the Just Read the Instructions drone-ship in the Pacific Ocean. CEO Elon Musk further noted that Falcon 9 B1050 - despite landing in the ocean - was intact and still transmitting telemetry, potentially allowing SpaceX to still recovery the forlorn rocket.

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The mission is SpaceX's 16th for NASA, as part of a long-term contract to ferry supplies to space. The mission was also historic because it involved a booster making its third successful landing.

Other experiments included in the mission include an effort to measure and perform 3D mapping of Earth's tropical and temperate forests; a test of a robotic technology to refuel spacecraft in space; and two student experiments inspired by the "Guardians of the Galaxy" films. According to NASA officials, there are two Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which bring crewmembers to the station; two Russian Progress spacecraft; and Northrop Grumman's Cygnus spacecraft. According to the CRS-16 mission overview, after the Cygnus leaves the space station for the first time, it can navigate to a higher orbit and release the cubesats. It's a badge of honor on the @SpaceX Dragon capsule, launching today! It weighs in at 5,600 pounds, and while much of the shipment is fairly typical of a resupply mission, there's also a very special holiday dinner packed away that some of the crew members will get to enjoy when Christmas rolls around. The newest residents will remain on board for six months, while the others will return to Earth on December 20. But this launch came with a little added drama: An unexpected splashdown by the returning rocket just offshore. Currently, the Dragon spacecraft is on schedule to arrive at the ISS by Saturday, Dec. 8th.

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