On Monday, after a month-long hiatus, SpaceX returned to flight from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Mostly sunny blue skies providing the perfect opportunity to photograph the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket. And armed with four remote cameras, Trevor Mahlmann was there for Ars to capture the scenes.
The images in this post show the Falcon 9 rocket in flight from launch, into MaxQ, and through the first stage’s return to Landing Zone 1 on the Florida coast. When he checked his remote controls, Mahlmann found a few surprises—with a few birds other than the Falcon taking their own flight during launch.
The launch itself went flawlessly for SpaceX, and now the Dragon spacecraft is flying to the International Space Station. The Dragon ship and three tons of cargo, including a large number of new science experiments, will stop with the station on Wednesday.
As for SpaceX, after waiting for a month for maintenance in the Far East, the company will now start another busy season of launches. As early as August 24, a Falcon 9 will launch the Formosat-5 satellite for Taiwan’s space agency from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. After all, SpaceX is likely to return to action at Cape Canaveral in early September, with its first launch of the US military X-37B aircraft.
Image listing by Trevor Mahlmann