Photos: Falcon 9 launches and lands at Vandenberg Air Force Base

Follow this link here to view the full content and support the original authors!
This composite image captures the launch of the the Falcon 9 rocket from SLC-4E at Vandenberg, followed by the booster’s return to Landing Zone 4 more than eight minutes later. Credit: Brian Sandoval / Spaceflight Now

These photos show the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Nov. 21 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with the U.S.-European Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich oceanography satellite.

The commercial launcher lifted off from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg at 9:17 a.m. PST (12:17 p.m. EST; 1717 GMT) on Nov. 21. Nine kerosene-fueled Merlin 1D engines powered the 229-foot (70-meter) rocket off the pad and toward the south-southeast over the Pacific Ocean.

Nearly two-and-a-half minutes into the flight, the Falcon 9’s first stage detached and began maneuvers to head back to a landing at Vandenberg. The booster ignited its center engine for a braking maneuver just before a vertical touchdown on Landing Zone 4, just west of the Falcon 9’s launch pad, more than eight minutes after liftoff.

The Falcon 9’s upper stage deployed the European-built Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite into orbit nearly one hour after launching from Vandenberg, beginning the spacecraft’s mission to monitor global sea levels.

Read our full story for more details.

Credit: SpaceX
Credit: Brian Sandoval / Spaceflight Now
Credit: Brian Sandoval / Spaceflight Now
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: Brian Sandoval / Spaceflight Now
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: SpaceX
Credit: Brian Sandoval / Spaceflight Now

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *