Just watched the recovery of a Falcon 9 booster. I missed the launch. Very cool video from the on-board camera as the booster descended through a cloud bank and landed dead center on the pad.
This mission, CRS-10, will deliver over 5,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station. Two really cool things. First, a private company providing supply runs to ISS is a thing. Second, it is almost routine to recover the first stage.
The Dragon capsule will slowly approach the ISS with docking expected in about 2 days. The capsule will stay about a month, then be recovered off the west coast.
Another amazing thing – within thirty minutes of launch, SpaceX has these photos of the launch and recovery available on Flickr. Astounding.
If you remember the Apollo or Gemini launches, ponder the technology. SpaceX has their own on-screen announcers covering the launch on a live video stream over the ‘net with multiple good or high quality live shots from the rocket and ground. Photos available within minutes. Archived video of launch is available on-line.
One of the little bity astounding parts of this – I can watch the recovery on-line in real-time, write about the launch and recovery, add photos that are minutes old, and have my article available for viewing anywhere in the world a few minutes after the recovery, for the incremental cost of zero dollars plus my time. Staggeringly impressive. (Hey, that makes me a journalist. Cool!)