SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lands in ocean after successful cargo launch

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

Christmas turkey rocketed toward the International Space Station today, along with cranberry sauce, candied yams and the obligatory fruitcake. "Ships en route to rescue Falcon", he tweeted.

Groans filled SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, as live video showed the first-stage booster spinning out of control, still high above Cape Canaveral.

The mission had been a complete success until the aborted landing. While the deployment of the Dragon spacecraft was successful, the first stage booster did not make it back to the landing pad.

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.

The current International Space Station crew includes two Americans, two Russians, one German and one Canadian. 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.

"What a great day for a launch", said Kennedy Space Center director Bob Cabana.

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The failed landing was a first for a return-to-launch-site landing.

SpaceX is already the leading name in the realm of private space flight with many firsts to its name, but the company's most recent launch landed it in the record books multiple times over.

Apart from the mice, worms, too, made the trip to space Wednesday for a study on muscle loss in space, with the hope of helping treat muscular conditions on Earth. Scientists expect a tenfold increase in the worm population. It turns out their muscles are similar to ours in structure and function, making them flawless lab substitutes, said lead scientist Timothy Etheridge of the University of Exeter in England. The company's next launch, of the first Global Positioning System 3 satellite for the U.S. Air Force, is scheduled for no earlier than December 18, followed by the launch of the final 10 Iridium Next satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California no earlier than December 30.

The rocket was initially meant to take off on Tuesday, but was delayed for a day after engineers discovered moldy mouse food in one of the science investigations created to study the effect of microgravity on the immune system. Three of the crew members arrived earlier this week and they'll remain there for the next six months. The newest residents will remain on board for six months, while the others will return to Earth on December 20.

Watch on NASA TV below, or at NASA's website, or via SpaceX's own webcast.

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