In Photos: SpaceX’s Dazzling Dragon Launch to Space Station on CRS-15 | Tech News
SpaceX CRS-15 Stage Separation
SpaceX’s predawn launch of a used Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon on June 29, 2018 created dazzling views from the ground like this one, captured during stage separation.
Dragon CRS-15 Separation
SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship separates from its Falcon 9 upper stage after a successful launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on June 29, 2018. It is Dragon’s cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station.
Dragon Wings Unfurl
Every Dragon needs its wings and SpaceX’s is no different. Here, a solar wing is seen just after unfolding from Dragon, with the Earth as a stunning backdrop, following launch on June 28, 2018.
A Recycled Booster
The Falcon 9 rocket first stage used to launch SpaceX’s Dragon CRS-15 mission flew just over two months earlier. On April 2, 2018, it was used to launch NASA’s TESS exoplanet-seeking mission. The CRS-15 launch marked the final flight for the booster, and the final flight of SpaceX’s Block 4 Falcon 9 design. A new version, the Block 5, will be used for all upcoming flights.
Dragon’s Return to Space
The Dragon used on CRS-15 has also flown in space before. In July 2016, it was used to fly SpaceX’s CRS-9 cargo mission to the International Space Station (shown here as it arrived on July 20 of that year). SpaceX Dragon mission management director Jessica Jensen said SpaceX hopes to fly its Dragon spacecraft up to three times. So this Dragon could fly another time!
SpaceX Falcon 9 Ready to Soar
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship stand atop their Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launchpad in Florida on the eve of a June 29, 2018 launch.
SpaceX CRS-15 Mission Patch
The misson patch for SpaceX’s CRS-15 cargo delivery to the International Space Station on Dragon. Can you spot SpaceX’s lucky shamrock?