CRS-16 (Falcon 9)
5 December 2018
Space Launch Complex 40
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

SpaceX launched its sixteenth Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-16) aboard a Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) at 1:16 p.m. on 5 December 2018 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Dragon spacecraft for the CRS-16 mission previously supported the CRS-10 mission in February 2017. Following stage separation, SpaceX attempted to recover Falcon 9’s first stage on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station but the failure of a grid fin motor caused the booster to lose steering control leading to a touchdown just offshore in the ocean. The booster survived the water landing and was salvaged (see below).

From the SpaceX CRS-16 press release:

Dragon will be filled with more than 5,600 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur onboard the orbiting laboratory.

CRS-16 is the sixteenth of up to 20 missions to the International Space Station that SpaceX will fly for NASA under the first CRS contract.

Dragon will return to Earth with about 4,000 pounds of cargo after an approximately five-week stay at the International Space Station. About five hours after Dragon leaves the space station, it will conduct its deorbit burn, which lasts up to 10 minutes. It takes about 30 minutes for Dragon to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.

The ocean landing mishap occurred within line of sight of Launch Complex 40. One of the pad's lightning towers is visible in the image.
CRS-16 Falcon 9 booster in the water at Port Canaveral | 7 December 2018
After being towed into Port earlier in the day, the CRS-16 Falcon 9 booster floats in the water at Port Canaveral as SpaceX prepares to salvage the booster.
The SpaceX recovery fleet: the green hulled recovery ships at left, the Of Course I Still Love You droneship in the middle, and the CRS-16 Falcon 9 booster waiting to be lifted by crane out of the water.
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