CRS9 Falcon9 - July 18, 2016 - Michael Seeley: Photos of Stuff
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SpaceX CRS9 Falcon9 rocket launch and landing

This is a single, 483 second exposure of the Falcon9 CRS9 rocket, launched (and landed!) at 12:45a on July 18, 2016 from CCAFS by Elon Musk and SpaceX. The streak to the left is the launch streak and then the straight line to the right shows the landing of the first stage of the Falcon9 rocket approximately 9 minutes after launch.

Most launch and landing streaks are a composite; this is a single image. Also, people ask why the clouds don't appear to have moved in the image, and the answer is simple: it's 12:45 in the morning, so with the exception of the moment that the rocket is passing through them, the clouds are not visible; it's night and therefore the sky is dark (the aperture setting is f22).

Also, this photo was chosen as NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) for July 21, 2016. More details on the launch available here:

(Edited to add that this photo was published in the November, 2016 issue of National Geographic Magazine.)

CCAFSCRS9DragonElonElon MuskFalcon9ISSISSCargoInternational Space StationMike SeeleyNASARocketRocket LandingRocket LaunchSLC40SpaceXSpaceX9WeReportSpace