SpaceX helps complete historic launch at Vandenberg

Jo Lloyd
December 8, 2018

Viewers were greeted with clear skies as the Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket carried 64 different spacecraft from 34 separate organizations as part of the Spaceflight Industries SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission.

He also tweeted imagery from a camera onboard the booster as it made its way down.

- Three days and 3,000 miles apart, SpaceX is aiming for their second launch this week, this time with a cargo flight to the space station. During the landing of its first stage fell into the Atlantic ocean.

The first stage, meanwhile, was programmed to flip around and restart three engines to reverse course and head back toward Florida.

Hundreds of people lined West Ocean Avenue just outside of Lompoc and Vandenberg Air Force Base on December 3 to witness a historic SpaceX rocket launch.

Although SpaceX has been re-using its Falcon 9 rockets to cut the costs of launches, the rocket being used Wednesday has not previously flown. The booster splashed down just offshore intact, he said, and it was even transmitting data.

Today continues an extraordinary week for orbital launches.

"Plan is to dry them out and launch again", Musk tweeted. "Honestly I am a little bit puzzled myself" as to how the rocket stopped itself from spinning.

A SpaceX commentator called it a "bummer", but noted it was secondary to the main mission of getting the Dragon capsule to orbit.

The Falcon 9 rocket launch was scheduled for Tuesday, but the night before liftoff NASA announced technicians found mold on food bars for the space station rodent investigation.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule is carrying more than 5,600 pounds of experiments, food - for astronauts and mice - and other supplies for the space station, according to NASA.

Dragon will arrive at the ISS about 6:00 am ET on Saturday morning where it will be grappled using the robotic Canadarm2 and then installed onto one of the ISS docking ports.

SPACEX yesterday blasted off its unmanned Dragon cargo ship, loaded with supplies, science experiments and food for the astronauts living at the International Space Station but failed to successfully land its booster afterwards.

The International Space Station now has six crewmembers; three arrived Monday (Dec. 3), and three have been there since June.

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