Incredible Close-Up: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch, Stage Separation, Landing [VIDEOS]

Image: NASASpaceflight

The folks over at NASASpaceflight religiously follow and document SpaceX’s rocket launches. After capturing high-definition footage of this week’s NROL-87 mission launch (and subsequent landing) from multiple angles, the media outlet has published a supercut of the mission on YouTube.

YouTube video

The NROL-87 mission saw SpaceX launch a Falcon 9 rocket with a classified spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office as its payload at 12:27 pm PT on Wednesday, February 2, from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The mission was carried out by a fresh new Falcon 9, which aced its first launch and, following first stage separation, stuck a rare daytime landing attempt on land at LZ-4 in the Vandenberg Space Force Base. The return marked the 105th successful recovery of an orbital class rocket, according to SpaceX.

NASASpaceflight‘s supercut showcases both the launch and the landing from various angles, along with all of the intricate maneuvers the rocket makes in between.

The Starlink mission that immediately followed NROL-87 on Thursday made history as the 112th successful Falcon 9 mission in a row. SpaceX is targeting a minimum of 52 launches for 2022, with hopes of one per week.

Earlier in the week, SpaceX also offered up a rare, detailed glimpse at the Falcon 9 stage separation process captured by ground cameras.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also shared an extended tracking shot of Falcon 9 as well, showing an incredible view of the first stage separating from the second stage:

YouTube video

You can check out a full replay of Wednesday’s NROL-87 mission below:

YouTube video