A SpaceX commentator called it a "bummer", but noted it was secondary to the main mission of getting the Dragon capsule to orbit.
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.
According to Associated Press, a Dragon capsule and its 5,600 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of cargo, was launched into space on Wednesday from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Those experiments are the winners of a national contest organized by Marvel Entertainment and the U.S. National Laboratory that asked students to develop "microgravity experiment concepts that related to the Rocket and Groot characters" from the films.
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Despite major problems, Falcon 9 somehow pulled off a successful soft-landing in the Atlantic. On 11 minutes, after the start of the first stage landed successfully on a floating platform in the Pacific ocean. The single engine powering the second stage then was expected to ignite to continue the Dragon's climb to orbit. In other words, Falcon 9 performed fine during ascent and only exhibited off-nominal behavior during the booster's attempted landing after separating from the upper stage and Dragon payload.
The Dec. 3 mission is the largest single "rideshare" from a USA -based launch vehicle to date, according to SpaceX. It, together with the ship Crew Dragon will with slight modifications be used to derive astronauts into orbit and return them to the Earth.
The science gear on board includes an experiment to test robotic spacecraft refueling techniques using ultra-cold cryogenic propellants, another instrument that will use laser beams to measure tree heights globally to determine the relationship between deforestation and carbon dioxide processing and another to develop wound dressings that improve drug delivery. Newcomers Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques will stay until June.
See that small space station? It's part of the company's push for reusability to drive down launch costs.