September 20, 2020

Photos: SpaceX’s first crewed mission launches from pad 39A


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This collection of images from NASA and SpaceX photographers shows the Crew Dragon spacecraft lifting off on top of a Falcon 9 rocket May 30.

Taking advantage of a break in the weather, the 215-foot-tall (65-meter) Falcon 9 rocket took off from the Kennedy Space Center at 3:22:45 p.m. EDT (1922:45 GMT) on May 30. Around 12 minutes later, the Falcon 9’s upper stage deployed the Crew Dragon spaceship into orbit.

The launch marked the first time astronauts have flown into orbit from a U.S. spaceport since the last launch of NASA’s space shuttle program July 8, 2011.

These photos show the Falcon 9 launching atop nine Merlin 1D engines, each consuming kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants, producing a combined 1.7 million pounds of thrust. The final photo in the series shows the Falcon 9’s first stage booster landing on SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Atlantic Ocean for potential reuse on a future mission.

Credit: SpaceX
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls & Joel Kowsky
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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