1/ SpaceX Nails Back-to-Back Launches and Landings
The private spaceflight company SpaceX launched two Falcon 9 rockets in three days, and landed their first stage boosters, on Oct. 9 and 11, 2017. See how those amazing missions went in photos here.
Here: One of the two Falcon 9 rockets stands ready for launch.
2/ The First of Two Launches
On Oct. 9, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 8:37 a.m. EDT (1237 GMT/5:37 a.m. EDT), carrying 10 satellites for Iridium Communications, as part of the company’s Iridium Next constellation.
3/ Falcon 9 Is Set Free
A support structure drops to the side as the 230-foot (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket lifts off.
4/ Falcon 9 Flies Into Space
A long-exposure photograph shows the trail of the Falcon 9 rocket as it carries 10 Iridium satellites into orbit.
5/ Hello, Moon!
The moon shines down on Vandenberg Air Force Base as the Falcon 9 rocket carries 10 Iridium satellites into orbit.
6/ Into the Darkness
This may look like a nebula in deep space, but this glowing cloud was photographed in Earth’s atmosphere. The photo was taken shortly after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched with 10 Iridium communications satellites on Oct. 9. After main engine cutoff, flames coming out of the Falcon 9’s nine first-stage engines dissipated into the darkness. A few seconds later, the first and second stages of the rocket separated, with the first stage returning to Earth for a landing.
7/ EchoStar Blasts Off!
A two-stage Falcon 9 booster with a pre-flown first stage successfully launched the EchoStar 105/SES-11 communications satellite to orbit on Oct. 11, marking the third time SpaceX has pulled off such a used-rocket feat.
8/ Falcon 9’s Path to Space
A long-exposure photo of the Falcon 9 launch shows its path into orbit, where it would deploy the EchoStar 105/SES-11 communications satellite