A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on Earth after delivering dozens of satellites to polar orbit this week – and a launch pad tracking camera picked up the rocket’s flawless landing on tape.

The Transporter-2 mission took off at 3:11 p.m. EST (3:11 p.m. GMT) Wednesday, June 30 from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida. Originally slated for launch on June 25, the mission was delayed for a few days to allow for more pre-launch checks. Then, another 24-hour delay occurred on Tuesday (June 29) when the aircraft entered the restricted airspace around the launch site.

Less than 10 minutes after launch, SpaceX managed to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on Landing Zone 1, LZ-1, at Cape Canaveral, just a few miles from where it was. launched. A tracking camera on the launch pad captured a stunning view of the rocket’s descent to Earth and an accurate landing.

Video: See SpaceX land rocket in Florida in stunning tracking camera video
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lands at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida after launching the Transporter-2 carpool mission into orbit on June 30, 2021. (Image credit: SpaceX)

“It was as smooth as I had seen it,” a SpaceX commentator said during a live webcast of the mission. “We had some phenomenal shots [of the rocket] throughout the landing burn. ”

The landing sequence included three engine burns to slow the rocket down during descent. The third and final burn – the landing burn – began just before touchdown and provided the booster with a gentle descent before returning to Earth.

Wednesday’s successful landing marks the eighth launch and landing of the first stage of the rocket’s booster, B1060, since its first flight a year ago, in which it launched an improved GPS III satellite for the US Space Force. . It was also the 89th recovery of a first-stage booster for SpaceX and the first land landing of the year, given that previous launches this year have landed their first-stage boosters on one of the drones. of the society.

The Transporter-2 mission – SpaceX’s second dedicated carpool program for small satellites – sent 85 commercial and government spacecraft into orbit, including cubesats, microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles that help deploy all small satellites. in the correct orbits. In addition, the rocket launched three of SpaceX’s own Starlink Internet satellites, for a total payload of 88 small satellites that were released into a polar orbit.

Shared spacex another video which captures amazing views of space as the various payloads have been deployed into orbit. The deployment of the 88 spacecraft has been confirmed, according to the video.

NASA’s PACE-1 spacecraft was the first deployed payload approximately 58 minutes after the start of the flight. The final deployment, about 1 hour and 27 minutes after launch, included the three Starlink satellites, which are part of SpaceX’s plan to build a mega-constellation to provide low-cost internet to remote locations.

The launch of the Transporter-2 mission marked the 20th mission this year for SpaceX and the company’s fourth in a month from the space coast of Florida.

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