Splashdown! SpaceX Rocket Topples into Water Following Technical Glitch

But breaking four records isn't the only thing on SpaceX's plate this week - the company is targeting 1:16 p.m. ET Wednesday for a Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral, this time with thousands of pounds of cargo for the International Space Station.

It was the company's first missed ground landing, although it has overshot floating barges plenty of times in the past, a tougher feat to pull off.

"Appears to be undamaged and is transmitting data".

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. Musk noted via Twitter. "Ships en route to rescue Falcon", he wrote.

SpaceX had made 27 successful landings since June 2016, according to Spaceflight Now.

Altogether, the company has recovered 32 boosters following liftoff - 33 once this one is towed back, said Hans Koenigsmann, a SpaceX vice-president.

"Public safety was well protected here", he told AP.

Despite the landing, the mission successfully placed in orbit its Dragon uncrewed cargo spacecraft. It should reach the space station at the weekend.

The rocket also carried 40 mice and 36,000 worms to help researchers with age and muscle studies, the Associated Press reported. There will be plenty of room on board for all the tiny nematodes.

The rocket was initially meant to take off 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.

SpaceX has been making station deliveries for Nasa since 2012. They're away from their families and friends for months on end, don't have access to numerous basic creature comforts we all enjoy, and live on a somewhat limited selection of food... unless, of course, it's Christmas. The company expects to start launching station crews next year.

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