The stage made a soft landing on the water and continued to transmit data.
SpaceX launched its unmanned Dragon cargo ship to the worldwide space station on Thursday but failed to successfully land its booster afterward as the tall portion of the rocket missed its goal of securing an upright landing on solid ground at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1.
Booster Falcon 9 company SpaceX on Wednesday, December 5, started with a cargo spacecraft Dragon went to the global space station (ISS).
But even with the landing not going as planned, Insprucker emphasized the successful launch.
"Dragon, you saw separate, and now the solar arrays coming out".
In a post-launch press briefing, SpaceX's vice president of build and flight reliability, Hans Koenigsmann, said the booster worked as designed, targeting the water - instead of land or buildings - when it sensed a malfunction.
The rocket was initially meant to take off Tuesday but was delayed for a day after engineers discovered moldy mouse food in one of the science investigations created to study the effect of microgravity on the immune system.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off carrying the Dragon spacecraft at Cape Canaveral Wednesday.
This mission is NASA's 16th mission of SpaceX, which is part of a long-term contract to deliver supplies in space.
The bad food was replaced ahead of Wednesday's launch.
Dragon is slated to rendezvous with the orbiting lab early Saturday and re-enter Earth's atmosphere and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California in January, according to NASA.