Rocket launches are replete with tension and anxiety, and the landings with either elation or misery. The experience is emotional to say the least — imagine if the sum of all your hard work could literally crash and burn before your eyes.
Such is the case with the hordes of engineers at SpaceX who watched their Falcon 9 rocket fail its droneship landing in June 2015. Six months later, on December 21, 2015, a new Falcon 9 landed safely back to Earth.
The intense atmosphere at mission control that night is captured in a new video SpaceX uploaded today to YouTube, which compiles footage of the launch from space and on Earth:
As you would imagine, there was an ocean of SpaceX personnel hovering over the shoulders of the mission control operators at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California:
The crowd erupts in joyous screams once the rocket lifts off:
We then get to see some of the actual things Falcon 9 did in space during its payload supplying mission for ORBCOMM, an M2M communications provider.
Here, Falcon 9 ditches its booster stage and fires up the engines on its second stage:
But perhaps the most exciting and tension-inducing part of the video is when Falcon 9 comes screaming back to Earth. Onlookers had no idea that the rocket would land successfully — after all, the last SpaceX launch in June was such a disaster it haunted Elon Musk’s dreams.
The SpaceX explosion must have torn at the very fabric of SpaceX’s rank and file too. Just look how nervous and eager they are for astro-redemption:
When Falcon 9 prevails, the throng of SpaceX employees goes nuts:
Like really, really nuts. (Like Spring Break in Ibiza nuts.)
After all, a lot of work had gone into the whole endeavor, and the company had to kick it into high-gear once Blue Origin, a company owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, vertically landed its own rocket in a remote stretch of West Texas desert in November.
The Blue Origin staff reacted in a similar manner, as you can see in the GIF below.