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.
As it continued to descend, the rocket is seen in video to begin to spin like a slowly twirling pencil in a counterclockwise motion, the Merlin engine's beneath it fighting to stabilize its flight.
Christmas turkey is rocketing toward the International Space Station, along with cranberry sauce, candied yams and the obligatory fruitcake.
It was SpaceX's sixth outright landing failure and the first since June 2016, ending a string of 32 successful recoveries, 20 on droneships, 11 on land at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and one at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
But even with the landing not going as planned, Insprucker emphasized the successful launch. It was the first missed landing at Cape Canaveral.
Ocean platform landings have proven a bit trickier, but SpaceX has managed to stick the landing, whether on land or sea, 32 times in all.
A video of the Falcon 9 rocket recovering from its spin and landing in the Atlantic Ocean is embedded below. His interest in space, and his background in journalism and public relations suit him for his focus on research and development activities at NASA Glenn Research Center, and its Plum Brook Station testing facility, both in northeastern Ohio.
'Appears to be undamaged & is transmitting data. The change may simply have resulted from landing-leg deployment, he said. "Given this event, we will likely add a backup pump & lines". In the background, viewers could still hear the team on-console making callouts as the rocket's landing burn started, culminating in a call for the landing team to "move to contingency procedure [s]", the only SpaceX affirmation that something went wrong.
SpaceX is already the leading name in the realm of private space flight with many firsts to its name, but the company's most recent launch landed it in the record books multiple times over.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule is carrying more than 5,600 pounds of experiments, food - for astronauts and mice - and other supplies for the space station, according to NASA.