Stunning SpaceX Falcon Rockets Look Like UFOs As They Land After Launch
Incredible images of SpaceX Falcon Rockets landing during SpaceX’s STP-2 Mission wouldn’t look out of place in a movie about aliens landing on Earth.
The mesmerising footage was taken during Falcon Heavy’s last launch one year ago, on June 25. The STP-2 mission took off from a launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying a cargo of 24 experimental satellites.
The sight from Earth was made all the more extraordinary on account of the launch taking place at nighttime, with the darkness of the sky giving the display of light and sound an even more dramatic and other-worldly feel.
You can watch the footage for yourself below:
The mission was documented from the ground by rocket launch film and photography business Cosmic Perspectives, who used slow-motion remote cameras, which they positioned in the field around 18 hours before liftoff.
The remote camera footage has once again captured the imaginations of space watchers, and shows two boosters landing together at almost exactly the same time.
Sonic booms can be seen to shake the camera, as the boosters fall below the horizon, reflected in the water like two sinking suns. Fish can even be seen to jump from the water upon impact.
The narrator of the video, who expressed his love for night watches, described the sight of the two boosters separating from the centre stage as giving the appearance of a ‘nebula in the sky’.
The narrator continued:
Being able to capture this footage and document Falcon Heavy was just about one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.
Looking forward to the next launch, probably not until 2021, but we’ll be here on the space coast, ready to go.
Those re-watching the astonishing footage have expressed absolute awe and wonder, with one person commenting, ‘[It] looks like a movie but it’s real life’. Another said that it was ‘hard to express how moving these images and sounds are for me’.
CEO Elon Musk described this as being the ‘most difficult launch’ SpaceX had ever attempted, CNN reported at the time.
Falcon Heavy is notable for its three reusable first-stage boosters, which have been designed to guide themselves back to Earth following the rocket launch. They can then be refurbished before being used again for future launches.
Reusing hardware reportedly saves SpaceX plenty of money, with the Falcon Heavy being comparatively cheaper when compared with similar rockets made by competitors.
After this particular launch, the two side boosters landed flawlessly on ground pads as they were supposed to. However, the centre booster missed its mark and ended up in the ocean.
This remarkable footage has been shared as Musk celebrates his birthday, having turned 49 today (June 28). No doubt there will many further innovations to come from the tech entrepreneur.
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