The Most Amazing Photos from SpaceX’s Historic Rocket Landing

The future is now, folks. On Monday, December 21, 2015, SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 rocket—carrying 11 satellites—from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It successfully deployed the satellites and returned back to land for a vertical landing, making history—and some pretty impressive photographs:

ORBCOMM-2 Launch, Re-entry, and Landing Burns, spacex

10 Minute Exposure by Ben Cooper for SpaceX (Via SpaceX Flickr)

ORBCOMM-2 Launch, Re-entry, and Landing Burns, spacex

Captured by Ben Cooper for SpaceX (Via SpaceX Flickr)

ORBCOMM-2 Launch, Re-entry, and Landing Burns, spacex

Falcon has Landed (Via SpaceX Flickr)

spacex rocket landing

Up to Space and Back Down Again (Via SpaceX Flickr)

spacex first vertical landing of rocket

First-Stage Landing (Via SpaceX Flickr)

spacex first vertical landing of rocket

First-Stage After It’s Journey (Via SpaceX Flickr)

“With this mission, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver 11 satellites to low-Earth orbit for ORBCOMM, a leading global provider of Machine-to-Machine communication and Internet of Things solutions. The ORBCOMM launch is targeted for an evening launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. If all goes as planned, the 11 satellites will be deployed approximately 20 minutes after liftoff, completing a 17-satellite, low Earth orbit constellation for ORBCOMM. This mission also marks SpaceX’s return-to-flight as well as its first attempt to land a first stage on land. The landing of the first stage is a secondary test objective.”

The smooth landing is a pretty amazing sight:

This video from SpaceX gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the mission and the launch itself:

According to its website,

“SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.”

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