After mice food delay, SpaceX set for space station resupply launch Wednesday

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.

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

"Falcon landed just out to sea".

Today's failed landing shouldn't affect upcoming SpaceX launches, Koenigsmann added.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk said the booster appeared to be undamaged.

It was the first time SpaceX ever failed to land a booster on solid ground, following a string of 12 straight successes.

CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter soon after the breathtaking loss of control and expected landing time, stating that the SpaceX team now pegged the failure on a grid fin's stalled hydraulic fin, which ultimately caused the wild spinning seen in the webcast.

Experiments onboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule include studies on wound healing in space, as well as two studies by students inspired by Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" will also launch to the orbiting laboratory.

For decades rocket stages were built, used once, and then essentially disposed of when they were allowed to fall back to Earth and be largely destroyed upon impact with the ocean.

Chris Gebhardt, the assistant managing editor of NASASpaceFlight.com, was recording the booster's return in Cape Canaveral with several others, and he helped capture the whole event on camera. Koenigsmann said the flight termination system is turned off when the booster no longer poses a threat to the public.

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket on its operational cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. "And, as much as we are disappointed in this missed landing - or landing in the water, rather, instead of land - it shows the system overall knows how to recover from certain malfunctions".

"A water-ditch landing is safer than an exploding rocket close to the ground", he told Business Insider. The crew-carrying version of Dragon is schedule to fly a test mission next month, and if all goes well, will carry astronauts to the station later in the year in what would be the first crewed flight from US soil since the space shuttles retired in 2011.

But in this case, nothing that'd be considered critical to NASA's mission - only SpaceX's convenience - seems to have gone wrong.

The launch can be viewed online for free via the SpaceX YouTube channel here.