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Launch Pictures: SpaceX's Dragon Capsule Roars to Space Station

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Over Space Shuttle

Robert Pearlman/collectSPACE.com

SpaceX's first space station-bound Dragon spacecraft, flying atop a Falcon 9 rocket, launches behind a high fidelity mockup of the space shuttle, NASA's previous means of delivering cargo to International Space Station. Liftoff occurred on May 22, 2012 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Falcon 9 Arcs Through the Sky

James Fink (via Twitter @SpaceX)

SpaceX tweeted this photo of the Falcon 9 launch on May 22, 2012. The company wrote: "Incredible shot of Falcon 9 launch (photo credit: James Fink) pic.twitter.com/M97rrNfY."

Thermal Image of Earth Taken by Dragon

SpaceX (via Twitter @SpaceX)

SpaceX tweeted this image taken by the Dragon capsule in orbit on May 22, 2012. The company wrote: "Earth as seen by a thermal imager that Dragon will use in its approach to the International Space Station. pic.twitter.com/jxv6t3et."

Interior of the Dragon Capsule in Space

SpaceX

SpaceX tweeted this photo of the Dragon's spacecraft interior in space on May 22, 2012. The company wrote: "First look inside Dragon in orbit. pic.twitter.com/IEx7UhPo."

Dragon Solar Panels Deploy

SpaceX

View from SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft looking outward at one of two solar array panels in the process of deploying. Image released May 22, 2012.

Elon Musk and Cheering SpaceX Employees

SpaceX

SpaceX founder Elon Musk stands before cheering SpaceX employees at their Los Angeles facility following the successful launch of their Falcon 9 rocket on May 22, 2012.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch

NASA/Rick Wetherington, Tim Powers and Tim Terry

On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Space Launch Complex-40 is ablaze as the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on May 22, 2012.

Space Launch Complex-40 is Ablaze

NASA/Rick Wetherington, Tim Powers and Tim Terry

On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Space Launch Complex-40 is ablaze as the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on May 22, 2012.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket Launches

NASA/Rick Wetherington, Tim Powers and Tim Terry

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket roars into space at 3:44 a.m. EDT on May 20, 2012, from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch

NASA/Rick Wetherington, Tim Powers and Tim Terry

On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Space Launch Complex-40 is ablaze as the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on May 22, 2012.

Liftoff of Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX

The Falcon 9 rocket's engines ignite on the SpaceX launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, May 22, 2012.

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