Christmas turkey, fruitcake rocketing toward space station

December 5, 2018 by Marcia Dunn
Christmas turkey, fruitcake rocketing toward space station
The first stage booster from a Falcon 9 rocket experiences a control problem during its descent, landing in the Atlantic Ocean just east of the launch site instead of a landing zone at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Christmas turkey rocketed toward the International Space Station on Wednesday, along with cranberry sauce, candied yams and the obligatory fruitcake.

The SpaceX booster missed its landing zone on the ground after liftoff, however, and ended up in the sea just a couple of miles offshore.

Groans filled SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, as live video showed the first-stage rocket booster spinning out of control, still high above Cape Canaveral. 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.

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.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk said the booster appeared to be undamaged. The hydraulic pump for the landing fins apparently stalled, but the engines stabilized the approximately 160-foot-tall booster just in time, allowing for "an intact landing in water!" Musk noted via Twitter. "Ships en route to rescue Falcon," he tweeted.

SpaceX's 12 previous ground landings—dating back to 2015—all were successful. Altogether, the company has recovered 32 boosters following liftoff—33 once this one is towed back, said Hans Koenigsmann, a SpaceX vice president. He did not know if it could be reused.

Christmas turkey, fruitcake rocketing toward space station
A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, for a cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Koenigsmann said the booster deliberately avoided land after sensing a problem, a built-in safety feature, and even managed to touch down upright in the Atlantic, atop its landing legs.

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

The disappointment was offset by the successful flight of the Dragon capsule and its 5,600 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of cargo. It should reach the space station Saturday.

"What a great day for a launch," said Kennedy Space Center director Bob Cabana. Twenty years ago this week, Cabana commanded the shuttle mission that carried up the first U.S. part of the space station .

A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, for a cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Besides smoked turkey breast and all the other fixings for Christmas dinner, the delivery includes 40 mice and 36,000 worms for aging and muscle studies.

Researchers expect a tenfold increase in the worm population. There will be plenty of room on board for all the tiny nematodes. It turns out their muscles are similar to ours in structure and function, making them perfect lab substitutes, said lead scientist Timothy Etheridge of the University of Exeter in England.

The launch was delayed a day when NASA discovered that the food for the mouse-tronauts was moldy. More food had to be rushed in from California.

Just two days earlier, three astronauts arrived at the space station to join the three already there. The crew includes two Americans, two Russians, one German and one Canadian. The newest residents will remain on board for six months, while the others will return to Earth on Dec. 20.

SpaceX has been making station deliveries for NASA since 2012. The private company expects to start launching station crews next year.

The first stage booster from a Falcon 9 rocket experiences a control problem during its descent, landing in the Atlantic Ocean just east of the launch site instead of a landing zone at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Christmas turkey, fruitcake rocketing toward space station
The first stage booster from a Falcon 9 rocket, bacground center, experiences a control problem during its descent, landing in the Atlantic Ocean just east of the launch site instead of a landing zone at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)

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12 comments

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Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 06, 2018
There are no atheists on board the ISS.
granville583762
3 / 5 (2) Dec 06, 2018
No Christmas turkey this year
SEU> There are no atheists on board the ISS.

There closer to the holy one than anyone down here in devils dungeon

Good job Elon Musk was not aiming for mars
The astronauts
On splash down
Would have been saying
As their capsule
Was
Sinking
Below the waves
We thought mars was a dry and arid planet
Till we arrive
Then it rains
And we cannot go out to play
pntaylor
not rated yet Dec 06, 2018
"obligatory fruitcake"
LOL!
I have "other" words, to describe fruitcake.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
5 / 5 (1) Dec 08, 2018
"obligatory fruitcake"
LOL!
I have "other" words, to describe fruitcake.
says pntaylor

One thing about fruitcake is that it never goes bad, is always edible and goes very well with a spot of hot tea laced with a bit of brandy.
Wrapped and sealed tightly in a tin fruitcake could still be edible and taste good after a thousand years. They could send it to Mars and it would still be well preserved through aeons, even under the harshest of conditions in its tin.
But I loved plum pudding and can't find it here in the States.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
5 / 5 (1) Dec 08, 2018
@granville
Very true - they ARE closer to Him than ordinary humans are - and this Christmas season even more so. As they look out of the ISS windows, they see the majesty and beauty of God's creations - the Earth and all that is on, in, and under it. The protective magnetic fields, the clouds of rain, the oceans filled with Life. As they look at each other up there on board the ISS, they also see God's other creations - humans. How can one not believe?
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Dec 09, 2018
Why fruitcake? We don't even eat it down here.....
SEU - have you ever tried an old fruitcake? Won't kill ya, but, yuk, does it taste like crap....

Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Dec 09, 2018
Seriously, fruitcake? Pieces of cherry marinated in kerosene? I suppose it will be OK after the freeze-dried turkey portions.
pntaylor
5 / 5 (1) Dec 09, 2018
"One thing about fruitcake is that it never goes bad, is always edible and goes very well with a spot of hot tea laced with a bit of brandy."

You're right it never goes bad. It starts that way and is never edible.
If you want to have it with tea, lace your tea with cyanide. It will help the cake go down.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
3 / 5 (2) Dec 09, 2018
Why fruitcake? We don't even eat it down here.....
SEU - have you ever tried an old fruitcake? Won't kill ya, but, yuk, does it taste like crap....

says Whyde

The secret of eating fruitcake, no matter how old, is the airtight wrapping and container that will keep it fresh. The fruit in it are desiccated enough to preserve the taste/texture. It is a very old trick that your human ancestors learned to use after they evolved from their monkey roots (DNA) and made pottery out of clay that would be airtight enough for honey and other foods.
The 'old' fruitcake that you may have eaten most likely were not wrapped very well and air had gotten into it. And you KNOW what that stuff floating in air is - bacteria, molds, fungus - the very same stuff that you don't want in your lungs. But they get into food/fruitcake sometimes.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Dec 09, 2018
My parents used to put brandy on it. I figured it was so we'd get drunk and not notice how nasty it is.

I was actually served spam on one memorable Thanksgiving. It scarred me for life. When I saw the Monty Python spam skit I passed it on to those responsible and got a lot of schitt for it.

I have actually had someone try to get me to eat spam with cloves stuck in it just like the picture on the spam tin. You can imagine my response, but so you don't have to, I got in the car and went and got a Burger Thing hamburger and some fries. Which at least masquerades as food.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
5 / 5 (1) Dec 09, 2018
@granville
Christmas turkey and other good stuff were delivered. Docking was accomplished and everyone on board the ISS is ready to feast on this December the 9th. Don't know when they will be opening the spread, but their eyes are glazed over and can't hardly wait.
A prayer of Thanks will be said by the participants.
:)
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
3 / 5 (2) Dec 09, 2018
@ Schniebo
SpookyOtto needs you and Stumpy to give him love and loyalty as he is feeling abandoned by the two of you. Theghostofotto1923 was king of physorg for many, many years before you two began commenting and made him feel so threatened.
I have no clue as to why he has been calling me "pussycat eyes" "Obamasocks" and other user names which I would never have thought of calling myself. I believe SpookyOtto is quite insane, but perhaps you and Stumpy can do or say something to bring him back to reality?
SpookyOtto seems to have such a hatred for the Jews, and seems to have an affinity for Germans and German words - that I tend to believe that SpookyOtto is a self-hating German Jew. I could be wrong, so I will continue to read many years' worth of physorg articles and comments to find out what is wrong with otto.
He doesn't seem to understand that the word 'diaspora" means "dispersion", by definition.
Please see what you can do to give him aid and comfort, yes?

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