SpaceX Launches Resupply Services Mission; Booster Rocket Landing Failed

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SpaceX has launched an unmanned rocket from Florida on Tuesday to send a cargo ship to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s unmanned rocket was scheduled to launch on Monday at NASA’s Florida launch site.

The rocket did not properly land on an autonomous barge that was anchored out in the Atlantic Ocean. The rocket destroyed the boat after landing on it, negating the goal of a reusable rocket, reports Reuters.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket was carrying the Dragon spacecraft. It is SpaceX’s sixth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.

Dragon is expected to return to Earth approximately five weeks from its launch for a parachute-assisted splashdown off of the coast of southern California. Dragon is the only operational spacecraft capable of returning a significant amount of supplies back to Earth, including experiments.

The Dragon spacecraft will be filled with more than 4,300 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to support about 40 of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during Expeditions 43 and 44. After five weeks at the space station, the spacecraft will return with over 3,000 pounds of cargo and packaging, including crew supplies, hardware and computer resources, science experiments, space station hardware, and trash.

SpaceX signed contract worth a $1.6 billion with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for 12 resupply missions to deliver some 44,000 pounds of cargo to the station. However, details of contract were not disclosed.

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Nadeem has more than 5 years of experience as a news writer/editor. He started his career as a business news reporter at a Virginia-based financial research firm in 2008. At Morning Ledger, Nadeem is responsible for writing news stories on health and science topics.