Our American political future may seem bleak these days, but that did not stop the ingenuity of American rocket science from prevailing, showcasing a jaw-dropping return-to-flight launch this past Saturday, January 14, 2017. Following a week of launch delays due to major rain storms that may just have solved California's drought problem, Falcon 9 carrying the first of its Iridium satellite payloads received the all clear, performing flawlessly against a bright, blue sky.
Mind-blowing beauty during dark times ~ #ThisIsOurHumanFuture— Claudia (@ct_la) January 15, 2017
Thank you, Elon.
RT @elonmusk: Liftoff pic.twitter.com/sBwNlsZObs
Not only did Falcon 9 deliver the first 10 of at least 70 next-gen Iridium satellites into orbit, the rocket's first stage returned to Earth, sticking the landing right on top of the X painted on SpaceX's ocean-going barge in the Pacific, downrange from Vandenberg Air Force Base, from where Falcon 9 launched.
Below is SpaceX's live webcast from countdown, to satellite deployment to landing. Enjoy and rejoice!