SpaceX launch to sup­ply space sta­tion has ‘bum­mer’

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page -

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Christ­mas tur­key rock­eted to­ward the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion on Wed­nes­day, along with cran­berry sauce, candied yams and the oblig­a­tory fruit­cake.

The SpaceX booster missed its land­ing zone on the ground af­ter liftoff, how­ever, and ended up in the sea just a cou­ple of miles off­shore.

Groans filled SpaceX Mis­sion Con­trol in Hawthorne, Cal­i­for­nia, as live video showed the first-stage rocket booster spin­ning out of con­trol while still high above Cape Canaveral. It was the com­pany’s first missed ground land­ing, although it has over­shot float­ing barges plenty of times in the past, a tougher feat to pull off.

A SpaceX com­men­ta­tor called it a “bum­mer” but said it was sec­ondary to the Fal­con 9 rocket’s main mis­sion of get­ting the Dragon cap­sule to or­bit.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk said the booster ap­peared to be un­dam­aged. The hy­draulic pump for the land­ing fins ap­par­ently stalled, but the en­gines sta­bi­lized the ap­prox­i­mately 160-foot-tall booster just in time, al­low­ing for “an in­tact land­ing in wa­ter!” Musk noted via Twit­ter. “Ships en route to res­cue Fal­con,” he tweeted.

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