This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Infrared Video Shows SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Falling Back to Earth

Viewers who stayed up late also got a rare treat of seeing a glitch-free landing video.

SpaceX landing Falcon 9 rockets on drone ships in the ocean is old hat by now, a feat first achieved more than three years ago. But a new video of the familiar descent put it in a new light on Saturday morning.

Under the cover of darkness, it’s impossible to see the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket return from space and land on Of Course I Still Love You, the drone ship off the coast of Florida, but infrared cameras captured the landing during a mission livestream, making it visible in monochrome. (A clip of the landing is isolated in the video above.)

Even better for rocket enthusiasts is that the Falcon 9 landing on the deck of the drone ship is actually crystal clear. During most missions that involve a drone ship landing, the SpaceX video feed glitches and cuts out as the rocket approaches the deck of the ship, denying viewers the sight of a rocket landing on a floating deck in the ocean. But that wasn’t the case on Saturday. In HD, you can see the landing legs extend, and the blue-green water splash around the drone ship, from the point of view of a video camera mounted on the first stage of the rocket.

“That looks awesome,” commented Jessica Anderson, a manufacturing engineer at SpaceX, who hosted the overnight webcast as Falcon 9 dropped to Earth a few minutes before 3 a.m. Eastern.

Article continues below

Elon Musk is pushing the boundaries of where we can go and what we can do. Don't miss a beat by signing up for Musk Reads, our weekly newsletter about all things SpaceX, Tesla, and The Boring Company.

This latest SpaceX launch was for CRS-17, a Commercial Resupply Service mission to the International Space Station, which saw, among other projects, chips of human organs sent to space for research and a radiation-tolerant supercomputer built by students from the University of Pittsburgh. The Dragon cargo capsule, with more than 5,000 pounds of supplies and science, will arrive at the ISS on Monday.

What’s next for SpaceX: Elon Musk’s aerospace company appears next set to launch Starlink internet satellites, for which it just received FCC approval, sometime in mid-May.

The Falcon 9 booster used on Saturday will be used again for two more missions to the ISS — CRS 18 and 19. Kenny Todd, ISS Mission Operations Integration manager for NASA, said as much.

“Quite frankly we have a vested interest in this booster,” Todd said during the post-launch press conference, reported Ars Technica. “The intent is for us to use it for 18, for sure, and potentially 19. From our standpoint it made a difference.”

Watch the full video of the CRS-17 mission here.

E3 2019: Schedule, Floor Plan, Livestream, Best Keynotes, Sony Appearance

The biggest gaming event of the year is almost here.

For the 24th year in a row, the gaming enthusiasts and industry players alike will gather in Los Angeles in June for E3 2019. The gaming expo is typically grounds for epic game announcements, next-generation console teases, and all-around geeky showcases to bring anyone who’s ever clutched a GameCube controller or mashed a keyboard to the edge of their seats. This year isn’t expected to be any different.

PS5: Release Date, Price, Specs, and Features for Sony's Next Powerhouse

The upcoming console might have more perks than expected.

The PS 5 Will try to set a new bar for console gaming with graphics capabilities that rival expensive PC-rigs, and possibly even a compansion VR headset. Many of the PS5’s notable specs have been confirmed, but the release date, price, and other details have been contained to leaks and rumors.

E3 2019: Last-Minute Schedule Change May Hint at PS5 or Xbox Scarlett News

An under-the-radar keynote may be packed with console Easter eggs.

While epic game teasers and esports activations were always going to be on the docket for next month’s E3 2019, one of the two premier gaming expos alongside GDC, expectations for any updates about next-gen consoles like the PS5 or the next-gen Xbox were muted.

That’s because Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft all made it clear that there won’t be any new hardware revealed at the Los Angeles Convention Center in June. But attendees and viewers tuning into E3 livestreams will likely get some hints, particularly relating to the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox “Scarlett” consoles, from a last-minute keynote from a crucial third-party component supplier.

The Sony PS5 May Repeat a Mistake That Hurt the PS3 in 2006

Could this misstep come back to haunt Sony?

Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 is anticipated to be the mother of all consoles. A recent batch of leaks confirmed previous rumors about the gaming system’s graphical capabilities, and added a few more details to what Sony has already confirmed will come with the PS5. A recent analyst report predicts that the PS5 could repeat a detrimental mistake that held back the PS3 when it launched in 2006.