SpaceX SES-8 Flawlessly Beautiful Dec. 3 Launch – Photo and Video Gallery

by Ken Kremer on December 4, 2013

Ignition of Next Generation SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 3, 2013 from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL lofting SES-8 telecommunications satellite to geosynchronous orbit. Credit: Alan Walters/americaspace.com

Ignition of Next Generation SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 3, 2013 from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL lofting SES-8 telecommunications satellite to geosynchronous orbit. Credit: Alan Walters/americaspace.com

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL – The flawless blastoff of SpaceX’s next generation Falcon 9 rocket on Tuesday Dec. 3 put on a spectacular sky show along the Florida Space Coast that was both beautiful and unforgettable – besides being truly historic as the firms first ever delivery of a commercial space satellite to the lucrative market of geostationary orbit.

For your enjoyment here’s a collection of photos and videos from fellow space photojournalists of the 5:41 p.m. EST sunset launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.

Following a pair of launch scrubs last week on Nov. 25 and Thanksgiving Day Nov. 28 caused by issues with the powerful new Merlin 1-D first stage engines, the third time was fat last the charm as the Falcon 9 blasted precisely at the opening of the 86 minute launch window.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 V1.1 rocket vents oxygen following Thursday evenings first launch attempt from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The first attempt was halted after computers showed that the engines had a slower than expected thrust rate upon startup. Credit: Walter Scriptunas II images

A SpaceX Falcon 9 V1.1 rocket vents oxygen following Thursday evenings first launch attempt from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The first attempt was halted after computers showed that the engines had a slower than expected thrust rate upon startup. Credit: Walter Scriptunas II images

As the Falcon 9 begins to 'thread the needle' of the lightning wires, a shower of ice and flames and steam scatters, cascades and billows. Credit: nasatech.net

As the Falcon 9 begins to ‘thread the needle’ of the lightning wires, a shower of ice and flames and steam scatters, cascades and billows. Credit: nasatech.net

Clear of the catenary lightning wires, the Falcon 9/SES-8 mission streaks to orbit. Credit: nasatech.net

Clear of the catenary lightning wires, the Falcon 9/SES-8 mission streaks to orbit. Credit: nasatech.net

Beautiful streak shot of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch with SES-8 satellite on Dec. 3, 2013. Credit: John Studwell

Beautiful streak shot of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch with SES-8 satellite on Dec. 3, 2013. Credit: John Studwell

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with SES-8 communications satellite soars to orbit.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with SES-8 communications satellite soars to orbit. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

Falcon 9/SES-8 streak to orbit on Dec. 3, 2013.  Credit: Jeff Seibert

Falcon 9/SES-8 streak to orbit on Dec. 3, 2013. Credit: Jeff Seibert

Falcon 9/SES-8 streak to orbit on Dec. 3, 2013.  Credit: Jeff Seibert

Falcon 9/SES-8 streak to orbit on Dec. 3, 2013. Credit: Jeff Seibert

Wispy exhaust plume from SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch with SES-8 satellite on Dec. 3, 2013. Credit: John Studwell

Wispy exhaust plume from SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch with SES-8 satellite on Dec. 3, 2013. Credit: John Studwell

Blastoff of Falcon 9/SES-8 satellite on Dec. 3, 2013.  Credit: Julian Leek

Blastoff of Falcon 9/SES-8 satellite on Dec. 3, 2013. Credit: Julian Leek

Launch Video

Stay tuned here for continuing SpaceX & MAVEN news and Ken’s SpaceX and MAVEN launch reports from on site at Cape Canaveral & the Kennedy Space Center press site.

Ken Kremer

…………….

About 

Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, scientist, freelance science journalist (Princeton, NJ) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calanders including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral and NASA Wallops on over 40 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight - www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: