Spectacular SpaceX Space Station Launch and 1st Stage Landing – Photo/Video Gallery

Article written: 21 Feb , 2017
Updated: 1 Mar , 2017
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Historic maiden blastoff of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center) at 9:38 a.m. EDT on Feb 19, 2017, on Dragon CRS-10 resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – Sunday’s inaugural blastoff of a commercial SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from historic pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 19 proved to be space spectacular like none other along the Florida Space Coast, that will help path the path for eventual human journeys to the Red Planet. UPDATE: more imagery added.

The mission involved the successful liftoff of the two stage Falcon 9/Dragon vehicle aimed at delivering over 2.5 tons of critical science and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) – coupled with the first ever daylight ground landing of the spent first stage booster back at Cape Canaveral.

Under completely cloudy and scattered showery skies, the 22 story tall Falcon 9 propelled a SpaceX cargo Dragon to low Earth orbit.

Thus began a three day orbital chase to the orbiting lab complex culminating with a rendezvous and Dragon berthing just hours from now on Wednesday morning, Feb 22.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Feb 19, 2017 for NASA on the Dragon CRS-10 delivery mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Julian Leek

Meanwhile the used 156 foot tall first stage maneuvered its way to a precision soft landing and upright touchdown on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL after dropping below the low hanging clouds just seconds before the final descent phase as the landing legs unfurled and locked firmly in place with engines eerily firing away.

The stunning events were captured by journalists and tourists gathered from across the globe.

Check out this expanding gallery of eyepopping photos and videos from several space journalist colleagues and friends and myself – for views you won’t see elsewhere.

Click back as the gallery grows !

NASA plans live coverage of Dragon’s Wednesday morning arrival and capture at the station at NASA TV and the agency’s website.

You can watch the NASA TV broadcast live starting at 4:30 a.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 22 at – http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Installation coverage will be broadcast starting at 8:30 a.m.

Astronauts Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Shane Kimbrough of NASA will use the space station’s 57.7-foot (17.6-meter) Canadian-built robotic arm to reach out and capture the Dragon CRS-10 spacecraft when it arrives at the station early Wednesday.

Grappling is expected around 6 a.m. EST Feb 22.

Dragon will be installed on the Earth facing port of the Harmony module.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Feb 19, 2017 for NASA on the Dragon CRS-10 delivery mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Julian Leek

Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 19, 2017 on the Dragon CRS-10 cargo delivery mission to the ISS for NASA. Credit: Trevor Mahlmann

Historic maiden blastoff of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center) at 9:38 a.m. EDT on Feb 19, 2017, on Dragon CRS-10 resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

Historic maiden blastoff of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center) at 9:38 a.m. EDT on Feb 19, 2017, on Dragon CRS-10 resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

Raindrops keep falling on the lens, as inaugural SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon disappears into the low hanging rain clouds at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center after liftoff from pad 39A on Feb. 19, 2017. Dragon CRS-10 resupply mission is delivering over 5000 pounds of science and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

Watch these launch videos compiled from the roof of NASA’s iconic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and ringing around the Launch Complex 39A pad perimeter.



Video Caption: SpaceX Falcon9 launch of CRS-10 from historic Pad 39A at KSC on February 19, 2017 as seen by video cameras stationed on the VAB roof and at pad 39A. Landing captured in final moments. Credit: Jeff Seibert/AmericaSpace

Video Caption: Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 on Feb. 19, 2017 from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center carrying Dragon CRS-10 supply ship bound for the International Space Station – as seen in this remote video taken at the pad under very cloudy skies. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

Check out this amazing time-lapse video of the landing as seen from Port Canaveral, FL by Mary Ellen Jelen.

Video Caption: This is a stack of 99 photos shot from Exploration Tower in Port Canaveral, FL of the SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage landing on 19 Feb 2017 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Landing Zone 1. Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Jelen / We Report Space

Here is a sequence of landing shots taken by my colleagues and myself.

See additional photos by Trevor Mahlmann here:

http://photos.tmahlmann.com/Rockets/SpaceX/CRS-10/

Final descent of the SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage with legs deployed after launching some 9 minutes earlier on Feb. 19, 2017 from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, as seen from the VAB roof. Credit: Trevor Mahlmann

Final descent of the SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage landing as seen from the VAB roof under heavily overcast skies after Feb. 19, 2017 launch from pad 39 at the Kennedy Space Center. The booster successfully soft landed upright at Landing Zone-1 (LZ-1) accompanied by multiple sonic booms at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, about 9 minutes after launch to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

Last moments of SpaceX Falcon 9 booster descent ahead of upright propulsive landing at Landing Zone-1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, as seen from Jetty Park. Credit: John Kraus

Touchdown of the SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage landing as seen from the VAB roof under heavily overcast skies after Feb. 19, 2017 launch from pad 39 at the Kennedy Space Center. The booster successfully soft landed upright at Landing Zone-1 (LZ-1) accompanied by multiple sonic booms at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, about 9 minutes after launch to the International Space Station (ISS). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

The goal is to refurbish and recycle the 156 foot tall first stage boosters for relaunch with a new payload.

SpaceX CEO billionaire Elon Musk hopes that by reusing the spent booster, he can drastically cut the cost of access to space and that will one day lead to human colonies and a “City on Mars.”

The goal of the mission was aimed at launching the SpaceX Dragon cargo freighter to deliver over 5500 pounds of science and supplies to the orbiting science outpost on the CRS-10 mission.

Watch for Ken’s onsite CRS-10 mission reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news.

Ken Kremer

SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-10 launch collage. Credit: Chuck Higgins

SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-10 Launch Sequence gif from pad 39A liftoff 19 Feb 2017 from the Kennedy Space Center – as seen from the Apollo-Saturn Center on the KSC Visitor Complex. Credit Chuck Higgins

SpaceX Falcon 9 seen soaring aloft with Dragon CRS 10 to the ISS after launch on 19 Feb 2017 from pad 39A as seen from Rt. 401, Port Canaveral, FL – whereas it was completely obscured from many other local vantage points. Credit: David Diebold

SpaceX Falcon 9 seen soaring aloft with Dragon CRS-10 to the ISS after launch on 19 Feb 2017 from pad 39A as seen from Rt. 401, Port Canaveral, FL – whereas it was completely obscured from many other local vantage points. Credit: David Diebold

SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage landing on 19 Feb 2017 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Landing Zone 1 as seen from Rt. 401, Port Canaveral, FL. Credit: David Diebold

Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 Dragon CRS-10 to the ISS after launch on 19 Feb 2017 from pad 39A as seen from OSB2 on the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: Kathleen Olowin

Landing of SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage about 8 minutes after liftoff on 19 Feb 2017 from pad 39A as seen from OSB2 on the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: Aaron Olowin

Landing of SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage about 8 minutes after liftoff on 19 Feb 2017 from pad 39A as seen from OSB2 on the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: Aaron Olowin

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket goes vertical at night atop Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on 19 Feb 2017 as seen after midnight from the pad perimeter. This is the first rocket rolled out to launch from pad 39A since the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttles in July 2011. Liftoff of the CRS-10 mission slated for 19 Feb 2017. Credit: Ken Kremer/Kenkremer.com

Historic maiden blastoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Dragon CRS-10 resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) at 9:38 a.m. EDT on Feb 19, 2017. Photo taken from the VAB roof. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

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