The star of the mission (and the unimaginable video) is a Falcon 9 first stage booster that SpaceX calls B1059.5. It is the newest booster within the personal spaceflight firm’s fleet of veteran rockets, to launch and land 5 occasions.
In the video, the booster is seen leaping off of its launch pad at Area Launch Advanced 40 at Cape Canaveral Area Drive Station, conducting an aerial somersault after which touchdown gently at its designated touchdown pad. SpaceX released the video on YouTube on Wednesday (Sept. 9).
The principle payload on the frequent flier was the SAOCOM-1B Earth-observing satellite tv for pc constructed for Argentina’s area company, the Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE). The subtle radar imager flew into orbit together with two smaller satellites.
The mission marked the primary time a satellite tv for pc launched right into a polar-orbiting trajectory from Florida for the reason that Sixties. Usually, any such mission launches from the West Coast as a result of the rocket would have a transparent path north or south, with out having to keep away from flying over populated areas. (That is as a result of particles from a Thor rocket reportedly killed a cow in Cuba in 1969, leading to a launch venue change for polar missions.)
The launch additionally included an onboard digital camera that captured beautiful footage of the rocket because it blasted off after which returned to Earth. The footage is sped up considerably, packing the entire course of into simply two minutes of unimaginable footage.
Within the video, you may hear the roar of Falcon 9’s 9 Merlin engines because the rocket climbs to area, adopted by bursts from its onboard thrusters. Viewers are even handled to a surprising show of pyrotechnics because the rocket fires up one in every of its engines throughout a sequence of deliberate burns to gradual its descent sufficient to land.
To this point, SpaceX has recovered 18 Falcon 9 first stage boosters on land at Cape Canaveral, and extra 42 boosters on floating platforms at sea. With 16 missions underneath its belt to date this 12 months, SpaceX is gearing up for one more Starlink mission. The thirteenth Starlink mission is estimated to launch someday subsequent week, and can ship a brand new batch of the corporate’s personal internet-beaming satellites into orbit.
Observe Amy Thompson on Twitter @astrogingersnap. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Fb.