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    A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft sits at launch complex

    US Dragon Spacecraft Blasts Off to ISS, Falcon 9 Rocket Landing Fails

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    After the US Dragon spacecraft was brough into the orbit by the Falcon 9, the first stage of the carrier-rocket was expected to land on a huge platform installed in the ocean off the coast of Florida but it crashed into the platform and broke into pieces, making it impossible to use the rocket in the future.

    MOSCOW, January 10 (Sputnik) — The US spacecraft Dragon with 1.6 tons of supplies for the International Space Station (ISS) was successfully launched Saturday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, NASA said on its website.

    The Dragon spacecraft was brought into the orbit by the Falcon 9 carrier-rocket. After completing the task, the first stage of the carrier-rocket was expected to land on a huge platform installed in the ocean off the coast of Florida.

    According to US media reports, Falcon 9 crashed into the platform and broke into pieces, making it impossible to use the rocket in the future.

    The first stage of SpaceX's Flacon 9 rocket failed to make a soft landing at the ocean platform after separating from the spacecraft Dragon, chief executive of SpaceX private developer said Saturday.

    "Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard. Close, but no cigar this time. Bodes well for the future tho. Ship itself is fine. Some of the support equipment on the deck will need to be replaced," Elon Musk said via Twitter.

    Musk earlier stated that in case of successful landing, his company would be able to use the rocket's booster stage multiple times, which would change the economics of space flights completely.

    The Dragon spacecraft is set to deliver supplies to the ISS, including the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) for monitoring and examining cloud formations and tiny atmosphere particles, and materials for researching brain and contagious diseases under space conditions.

    The spacecraft is expected to dock at the ISS on January 12 and will stay there for a month before returning with cargo back to Earth. At present, Dragon is the only spacecraft capable of bringing cargo back from the space station.

    Initially, the launch of the Dragon spacecraft to the ISS was scheduled for December 2014, but was delayed three times due to technical issues. The latest launch was postponed due to a malfunction in Falcon 9's carrier booster.

    Private developer SpaceX is obliged under its contract with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to carry out 12 launches to the ISS by 2016. In September 2014, the company was awarded a $6.8 billion contract with Boeing to develop manned flights to the station. SpaceX is developing a manned spacecraft on the basis of the Dragon capsule.

    Related:

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    Dragon Cargo Vessel Launch to International Space Station Suspended: NASA
    Dragon Cargo Spacecraft Departs Space Station to Return to Earth: NASA
    US Dragon Spacecraft Arrives at ISS Resupplies Station: NASA
    Tags:
    Dragon spacecraft, International Space Station (ISS), NASA, United States, Florida
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