The third time SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 rocket

BLAST OFF:A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Dec. 3

Falcon 9 rocket first stage booster experiencing control problems and missing a landing zone at Cape Canaveral, Fla. After more than two dozen successful rocket landings, SpaceX's most recent attempt resulted in a splashdown, though the rocket remained intact and was retrieved by the company.

And Friday also see, United Launch Alliance's powerful Delta IV Heavy rocket launch from California Vandenberg Air Force Base - a classified spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office.

A SpaceX commentator called it a "bummer", but noted it was secondary to the Falcon 9 rocket's main mission of getting the Dragon capsule to orbit.

Although, the Falcon 9 landed in the ocean, it was still close enough to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for local residents to hear the double-sonic boom in nearby Cocoa Beach, Florida. Viewers were greeted with clear skies as the Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket carried 64 different spacecraft from 34 separate organizations as part of the Spaceflight Industries SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission. "Ships en route to rescue Falcon", Musk tweeted along with a GIF of the first stage spinning during its descent.

After it released its payload into Earth's orbit, the SpaceX booster was recovered safely in the Pacific Ocean, according to a SpaceX spokesperson.

"What a great day for a launch", said Kennedy Space Center director Bob Cabana. There will be plenty of room on board for all the tiny nematodes long.

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.

Just two days earlier, three astronauts arrived at the space station to join the three already there.

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev will head back to Earth Dec. 20 after six and a half months in space - but not before helping out with unpacking the Dragon!

SpaceX has been making station deliveries for NASA since 2012.

And last, but not least, the Monday launch marked the 19th such operation this year, an unprecedented achievement by a single company.

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