August 16, 2018

Photos: SpaceX rocket climbs into orbit from Vandenberg


If you would like to see more articles like this please support our coverage of the space program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member. If everyone who enjoys our website helps fund it, we can expand and improve our coverage further.

The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Aug. 24 from California delivered Taiwan’s Formosat 5 Earth-imaging satellite to orbit, and the Falcon’s first stage booster returned to landing on a drone ship downrange in the Pacific Ocean.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket lifted off at 11:51 a.m. PDT (2:51 p.m. EDT; 1851 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

These photos released by SpaceX and the U.S. Air Force show the rocket’s launch through a bank of late morning fog, and the gallery includes a shot of the first stage after landing on SpaceX’s barge.

The first stage soared to a maximum altitude of 153 miles (247 kilometers), the highest apogee achieved by a Falcon 9 booster before returning to an intact landing. The first stage reached a peak velocity of Mach 6.9, a more important measure of the stress the vehicle encountered during re-entry, according to SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk.

Read our full story for details on the mission.

Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Michael Peterson
Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Clayton Wear
Credit: SpaceX

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


If you would like to see more articles like this please support our coverage of the space program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member. If everyone who enjoys our website helps fund it, we can expand and improve our coverage further.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!