SpaceX Suffers Malfunction in Landing of Falcon 9 ISS Resupply Mission

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Worm muscles to help astronauts in space

Wednesday's Falcon rocket was brand new, while the Dragon cargo carrier was recycled by SpaceX.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage may have been off target on its Cape Canaveral landing on December 5, but two days earlier, a reusable first stage stuck its third landing in six months. It's the first time that's happened since the groundbreaking launch of the company's Falcon Heavy spacecraft in February.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 makes a splashdown after having problems approaching its planned landing zone.

TAMPA: SpaceX on Wednesday 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.

SpaceX quickly cut the live feed from the rocket as it began to spin out of control.

Elon Musk's SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from California on Monday carrying 64 small satellites into low orbit around the Earth, which the company called the largest-ever "rideshare" mission by a US -based rocket. Then, it will return to Earth, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off California.

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"Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea", Musk tweeted.

The Falcon 9 is equipped with four fins that rise perpendicular to the body of the rocket as the craft descends, to help slow and control its approach for landing. Remarkably, it seems SpaceX may still be able to recover the rocket.

But one of the booster's grid fins malfunctioned, SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday, causing the booster to spin erratically.

The mission had been a complete success until the aborted landing.

This is SpaceX's 20th launch for the year 2018, surpassing its record number launches by two. It was the first missed landing at Cape Canaveral. The crew-carrying version of Dragon is schedule to fly a test mission next month, and if all goes well, will carry astronauts to the station later in the year in what would be the first crewed flight from USA soil since the space shuttles retired in 2011. It's scheduled to arrive Saturday morning.

Watch the launch live on ClickOrlando.com/space beginning at 1 p.m.

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