Watch SpaceX blast off to the ISS live online HERE

Moldy Mouse Chow Delays SpaceX Dragon Launch to Space Station

Today's liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station might have come even sooner if it weren't for some moldy mouse food.

The CRS-16 mission launched supplies to the ISS on Wednesday, but the booster headed for the landing pad missed and landed in the water instead, ending SpaceX's ideal record of 12 previous successful landings.

The mission, from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, took off at 1:16 p.m. Wednesday after a last-minute rodent-related delay this week. The Falcon 9 rocket blasted into a clear, chilly sky; the first-stage booster was aiming for a touchdown back at the launch site, once its job was done.

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Experiments onboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule include studies on wound healing in space, as well as two studies by students inspired by Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" will also launch to the orbiting laboratory. Other scientific payloads will provide high-resolution laser ranging observations to assess forest ecosystems and their role in Earth's carbon cycle, analyze crystals of antioxidant protein that will be grown in zero-G, serve as antioxidants, and test a system for refueling spacecraft in orbit. It's scheduled to arrive Saturday morning. 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 US soil since the space shuttles retired in 2011. The private company expects to start launching station crews next year.

Musk also tweeted a video from on board the booster, showing the rocket spinning uncontrollably until it regained stability at the last moment, but missed the landing pad. But on the way down, one of the booster's titanium steering grids failed to work properly. The early Falcon 9 rocket stages proved that the model was viable, but the Block 5 is capable of being used up to 100 times before finally needing to be disposed of. As a result, the booster went into a spin, veered away from the pad and splashed down about 2 miles offshore instead. It appeared to be undamaged and was transmitting data, Musk said, adding that a recovery ship was sent to retrieve it.

Most recently, a Falcon 9 that launched from California included a booster with two previous launches under its belt. It was projected to land back at Landing Zone 1 in the Cape. During that mission, 64 satellites were successfully deployed in sun-synchronous orbit for the customers of Seattle-based Spaceflight, which handled pre-launch arrangements.

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