June 20, 2021

Photos: Sunset sendoff for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket


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A final set of photos shows Friday’s Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral with the SES 9 communications satellite.

The 229-foot-tall rocket lifted off at 6:35 p.m. EST (2335 GMT) from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad, soaring east over the Atlantic Ocean about 10 minutes after sunset.

Consuming a super-chilled mix of kerosene and liquid oxygen, the rocket climbed into sunlight shortly after launch, giving spectators on the ground a spectacular view of staging and the release of the Falcon 9’s clamshell-like payload fairing.

The launch carried the SES 9 communications satellite, adding another member to the satellite fleet owned by Luxembourg-based SES, one of the world’s largest commercial spacecraft operators.

Friday’s flight marked the 22nd Falcon 9 flight since its debut in June 2010, and the second Falcon 9 launch of 2016.

Photo credit: Walter Scriptunas II / Scriptunas Images

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, carrying the SES-9 Satellite.

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Credit: Alexander Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alexander Polimeni/Spaceflight Now

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Credit: Alexander Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alexander Polimeni/Spaceflight Now

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Credit: Alexander Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alexander Polimeni/Spaceflight Now

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Credit: Alexander Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alexander Polimeni/Spaceflight Now

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, carrying the SES-9 Satellite.

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, carrying the SES-9 Satellite.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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