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Rocket in 'reusable' test mission fails to land on target

A rocket which was part of a mission to test whether space craft could be reused in other launches has failed to hit its mark.

It was hoped the Falcon 9 rocket would land on a special platform floating in the Atlantic.

SpaceX worker Elon Musk tweeted:

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Successful launch for 'reusable' rockets test mission

A test mission for 'reusable' rockets has successfully launched and is headed for the International Space Station.

Watch the countdown to the launch here:

The launch was initially scheduled for Tuesday, but was called off with little more than a minute left of the countdown due to a fault during the second phase of the launch.

The Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida this morning, carrying the Dragon cargo spacecraft into the sky. It is then due to detatch, and aims to land on a special platform floating in the Atlantic Ocean.

The rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida Credit: @NASA

The aim of the mission is to test whether, if the rocket can return to earth safely after a launch, it could be used again in a subsequent mission.

If so, aerospace firm SpaceX says it could dramatically reduce the cost of space travel.

The craft will deliver cargo to the International Space Station Credit: SpaceX

Watch live: Test mission for 'reusable' space rockets

Aerospace firm SpaceX is launching a cargo ship to the International Space Station as part of a test mission to make rockets reusable.

Watch live here:

The Falcon 9 rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 11.20am UK time, carrying the Dragon cargo spacecraft into the sky before detaching and aiming to land on a special platform floating in the Atlantic Ocean.

The aim of the mission is to test whether, if the rocket can return to earth safely after a launch, it could be used again in a subsequent mission.

If so, SpaceX says it could dramatically reduce the cost of space travel.

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ISS crew marks Christmas from space

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is in the holiday spirit as the station is decorated with stockings for each crew member and a tree. Credit: NASA

The six astronauts aboard the International Space Station have been celebrating Christmas while orbiting the Earth.

NASA probe sends first incredible picture of the Sun

Nasa's NuSTAR probe has sent back its first image of the sun showing the extraordinary power of the X-rays being generated on our nearest star.

The NuSTAR data, seen in green and blue is overlaid on top of a picture of the sun taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC

The NuSTAR data, seen in green and blue, reveal solar high-energy emissions. The high-energy X-rays come from gas heated to above 3 million degrees.

The probe was launched to search for black holes and has been flying in Earth’s orbit since 2012.

Mars mission was 'most perfect flight you can imagine'

Nasa has called the test mission to send spacecraft Orion to Mars "the most perfect flight you can imagine".

It kicked open the door to a new era of deep-space exploration in a mission which will one day be completed by man.

Mars is 34 million miles away and a round-trip could take at least three years.

ITV's Science Correspondent Alok Jha has this report:

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