SpaceX launches cargo, but fails to land rocket

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soars upward after lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 4:30 p.m. EDT, on April 2, 2018, carrying the SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that headed skyward this week is carrying a whole bunch of important cargo.

The mission, dubbed SSO-A, also marked the third voyage to space for the same Falcon 9 rocket - another milestone for SpaceX's cost-cutting reusable rocket technology.

If what Musk says proves true, the rocket is certainly wet but not much worse for the wear after the landing and will be recovered which is pretty damn impressive. In other words, Falcon 9 performed fine during ascent and only exhibited off-nominal behavior during the booster's attempted landing after separating from the upper stage and Dragon payload.

"Appears to be undamaged and is transmitting data".

The launch was delayed for a day because of a problem with food for the mice.

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About 10 minutes after the launch, the spacecraft reached its preliminary orbit, then deployed its solar arrays, starting multiple thruster firings to reach the space station. A fresh stock of food was brought in for them from California.

The Falcon 9 will blast off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. NASA discovered Monday that the food for the mouse-tronauts was moldy.

It should arrive at the space station on Saturday.

It's Christmas, even if you are located millions of miles away from the earth, into the space. The Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Space Station Challenge is sponsoring student experiments to develop a UV-activated dental glue that could help astronauts on long-duration voyages and another testing a mist-based irrigation system for plants grown in space.

A SpaceX commentator later called it a 'bummer, ' but noted it was secondary to the main mission of getting the Dragon capsule to orbit. The newest residents will remain on board for six months, while the others will return to Earth on December 20.

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev will head back to Earth Dec. 20 after six and a half months in space - but not before helping out with unpacking the Dragon!

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