Wednesday's Falcon rocket was brand new, while the Dragon cargo carrier was recycled by SpaceX.
The first stage was previously launched and recovered during missions in May and August as part of a program meant to make the equipment capable of being used 10 or more times without refurbishment.
"The first stage did land in the water", SpaceX spokesperson John Insprucker said during a live webcast.
"Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea", CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter. If all goes well, the spacecraft will catch up with the station early Saturday morning. That includes Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A in May (Bangabandhu-1); Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40 in August (Merah Putih); and now Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg. At the moment, SpaceX is really inspired with his success against models of Falcon 9, and will probably continue his experiments with the rocket - however, it remains only to wait for that.
After it released its payload into Earth's orbit, the SpaceX booster was recovered safely in the Pacific Ocean, according to a SpaceX spokesperson.
These Astronaut Photos of a Soyuz Launch from Space Are Just Incredible!
NASA spokesperson Gary Johnson described the mission as "textbook launch and insertion into orbit" during the liftoff commentary. Cosmonaut Kononenko said on Sunday, Dec. 2, during a press conference, that he "absolutely" trusts the flight plan.
'Appears to be undamaged & is transmitting data.
Coverage is expected to begin on NASA TV around 12:45 p.m. EST Wednesday ahead of the 1:16 p.m. launch. According to NASA, the Rocket experiment will test the reliability in space of a dental glue activated by ultraviolet light, while the Groot experiment will explore an alternative method for watering plants in a zero-gravity environment.
When the Dragon arrives, it will join five other spacecraft already at the station.
See that small space station?
With the Dragon in hand, the station crew will turn its attention to a planned spacewalk next Tuesday by cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Oleg Kononenko to inspect the Soyuz MS-09/55S ferry ship that carried Gerst, Prokopyev and Serena Auñón-Chancellor into orbit on June 6. Newcomers Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques will stay until June. It, together with the ship Crew Dragon will with slight modifications be used to derive astronauts into orbit and return them to the Earth.