Saturday marked a return to form for SpaceX, and not just when it comes to launching and landing rockets. As has become routine for the company in celebrating its spacefaring exploits, it has shared a set of stunning new images that capture the return of its Falcon 9 rocket to space and back.
The engineers at SpaceX are certainly some of best in the business, but the staff in its public relations department are no slouches either. Fans of the company and space exploration in general have previously been treated to footage from an onboard camera as the Falcon 9 slices through the atmosphere on re-entry, dramatic slow-motion clips of rocket blasts and even the Falcon 9's spectacular crashes.
After a four-month hiatus following a catastrophic launch pad explosion in September, SpaceX's re-emergence went off without a hitch, successfully delivering 10 satellites to space for communications company Iridium. Soon after, the rocket stuck the landing, coming down to rest on SpaceX's robotic droneship "Just Read the Instructions," in the Pacific Ocean.
The collection of crisp photos from the day cover both bookends to SpaceX's much anticipated return to flight, including striking images of the launch and some awesomely eery grabs of the rocket touching down on the drone ship. Click through to the gallery to check out the entire set.
Source: SpaceX (Flickr)