Here’s how to watch SpaceX’s Dragon take off for the space station

Cristina Cross
December 8, 2018

It weighs in at 5,600 pounds, and while much of the shipment is fairly typical of a resupply mission, there's also a very special holiday dinner packed away that some of the crew members will get to enjoy when Christmas rolls around.

The first stage was previously launched and recovered during missions in May and August as part of a program meant to make the equipment capable of being used 10 or more times without refurbishment.

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

Monday witnessed both a Soyuz rocket blasting three newcomers to the ISS and a Falcon 9 rocket taking 64 smallsats into orbit 310 miles (500 km) above Earth.

Following stage separation, the first stage booster landed safely on one of SpaceX's sea-faring pads, the Just Read the Instructions drone-ship in the Pacific Ocean.

CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter soon after the breathtaking loss of control and expected landing time, stating that the SpaceX team now pegged the failure on a grid fin's stalled hydraulic fin, which ultimately caused the wild spinning seen in the webcast. If all goes well, the spacecraft will catch up with the station early Saturday morning.

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Unfortunately for SpaceX, the launch of the cargo resupply trip wasn't quite flawless. Musk added that the Falcon 9 appears to be undamaged and is transmitting data.

Meanwhile, the Dragon spacecraft continues on its way to the space station, carrying fresh mouse food; new science and engineering experiments; and plenty of other goodies.

"Teams will use the extra day to replace the food bars", NASA announced Tuesday. A Russian Progress freighter was launched from Kazakhstan on November 16 and a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship took off from Virginia the next day.

Christmas turkey is rocketing toward the International Space Station, along with cranberry sauce, candied yams and the obligatory fruitcake. The private company expects to start launching station crews next year.

The Dragon spacecraft itself should leave the station and head back to Earth in January, according to Kirt Costello, ISS program chief scientist at Johnson Space Center.

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