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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.

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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.

Galaxy Fold: Samsung's Folding Smartphone Could Mount a Surprising Comeback

You may be able to pick up a working Fold this year after all.

Samsung’s first foldable phone’s initial launch was a face-plant. The $1,980 Galaxy Fold, originally supposed to hit shelves in the United States on April 26, flopped instantly as many of the review units sent to reporters and YouTubers broke after a few days of use.

A now-deleted iFixIt teardown of the device revealed the central problem: The Fold’s screen protector simply did not prevent dust and debris from getting underneath. That left many with the impression that the age of the foldable smartphone was yet to come, though it now looks like Samsung may have been able to resolve the Fold’s issues much faster than expected.

Neuralink: 6 Things We Learned From Elon Musk's Brain-Powered Reveal

The machine linkup could pave the way for safer A.I.

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s ambitious project to wire up the brain to computers, stepped out of the shadows Tuesday evening.

In a detail-laden presentation at the California Academy of Sciences’ Morrison Planetarium, the tech entrepreneur explained how his foray into brain-machine interfaces could pave the way for a symbiotic relationship with artificial intelligence.

PS5: Patent Filings Detail Sony's Plan to Make a Breakthrough VR Headset

Sony has groundbreaking VR plans in its future.

Virtual reality has been a fixture of the PlayStation 4 since Sony launched PlayStation VR in 2016, whose hardware attachments let gamers transform their console into full-fledged VR rigs. Rumor has it that, VR-wise, the PS 5 will follow in its predecessor’s footsteps.

Sony has already confirmed that its next-generation console will be compatible with current PSVR hardware, but it’s also clear that the entertainment giant has much bigger plans for VR further down the line.

Nintendo Switch vs. Switch Lite: Release Date, Pros and Cons, Which to Get

Two consoles for two distinct types of gamers. 

Two years after the first Nintendo Switch, the Japanese gaming giant unveiled the next chapter for its widely popular hybrid console. The Switch Lite, announced Wednesday, will fall somewhere between the original gaming system and its 2013 Nintendo 2DS, giving shoppers not one, but two Switches to choose from during the holiday spending season.

PS5: Price, Release Date, Specs, and Features for Sony's VR-Ready War Horse

Console gaming will reach heights never though possible.

The current generation of consoles is about to pass the torch. Sony has already revealed a great deal about the war horse it will ride into battle against the Xbox Scarlett consoles. The PlayStation 5 will tout PC-caliber graphics capabilities, and possibly come with a wireless virtual reality headset to take console gaming to new heights. But many crucial details about the PS5 remain unclear.