Photo Gallery: Beautiful Launch of Reflown SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon Cargo Ship from Florida Space Coast to the ISS

Ken Kremer Space UpClose 15 Dec 2017

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – A reflown SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo freighter lifted off this morning under beautiful clear blue skies from the Florida Space Coast, Friday, Dec. 15 on a resupply mission for NASA bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

The beautiful blastoff of the ‘flight-proven’ SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon CRS-13 commercial cargo freighter took place on time at 10:36 a.m. EST (1536 GMT), Friday, Dec. 15 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Enjoy these preliminary photos for now and watch for our detailed story to follow soon.

The now twice ‘flight-proven’ first stage booster successfully landed back at the Cape at Landing Zone-1 (LZ-1) some eight minutes later accompanied by multiple shockingly loud sonic booms that raced across the space coast region and for many miles beyond.

The 20-foot high, 12-foot-diameter Dragon CRS-13 vessel was packed with about 4,800pounds of science experiments, research gear, crew supplies and hardware for delivery to the orbiting outpost. It will stay attached for about 4 weeks before returning to Earth with loads of science samples.

Today’s launch was the 17th for SpaceX this year - 2017.

Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news.

Launch of the SpaceX Dragon CRS-13 spacecraft at 10:36 a.m. EST Dec. 15, 2017, from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida carrying nearly 2.5 tons of research equipment, cargo and supplies for NASA to the International Space Station (ISS) - as seen from pad 40 camera. Credit:Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com
Liftoff of SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon CRS-13 cargo ship for NASA from Cape Canaveral pad 40 on Dec. 15, 2017. Credit: Julian Leek
Launch of the SpaceX Dragon CRS-13 spacecraft at 10:36 a.m. EST Dec. 15, 2017, from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida carrying nearly 2.5 tons of research equipment, cargo and supplies for NASA to the International Space Station (ISS) - as seen from pad 40 camera. Credit:Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com
Landing of now twice 'flight-proven'SpaceX Falcon91st stage booster accompanied by multiple extremely loud sound booms racing across the Florida Space Coast just 8 min after successful launch of Dragon CRS-13cargo ship for NASA to the ISS - as seen from the NASA KSC Causeway. Credit:Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com