Emily LakdawallaDec 08, 2010

SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 9; orbits, returns Dragon capsule

EDIT 3:30 pm: added a cool parachute pic to the bottom!

"Falcon 9 nailed it!" said Bill Nye said this morning, congratulating SpaceX on what has looked like a flawless launch, orbit, and return of the Dragon capsule aboard its Falcon 9 rocket. I've been watching the news via Spaceflight Now (and a bajillion people on Twitter). During the launch, every other word I heard from the control room was "nominal." The separation of Dragon from the second stage, viewed from a rocket-mounted camera, was picture-perfect. And it looks like the parachute-assisted return of the capsule has gone perfectly.

Yay!

Falcon 9 launches, December 8, 2010
Falcon 9 launches, December 8, 2010 Justin Ray / Spaceflight Now
Falcon 9 second stage firing, December 8, 2010
Falcon 9 second stage firing, December 8, 2010 Falcon 9's second stage fires to place the Dragon capsule in orbit on its successful flight on December 8, 2010. SpaceX via space.com

"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

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