Launch Photos: SpaceX's Next-Gen Falcon 9 Rocket Soars on 1st Flight

Falcon 9 Launch Trajectory Composite

Photographer David A. Kodama took this composite image capturing the unmanned, next-generation Falcon 9 rocket launch trajectory as it blasted off from the SpaceX launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT) on Sept. 29. [Read the Story Behind the Photo Here]

Upgraded Falcon 9 Rocket Lifts Off

SpaceX

The upgraded Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a successful demonstration mission to deliver the CASSIOPE satellite to orbit. Launch took place on Sept. 29, 2013. [Read the Full Story Here]

Falcon 9 Lifts Off from SpaceX’s Pad at Vandenberg, September 2013

SpaceX

Falcon 9 lifts off from SpaceX’s pad at Vandenberg, carrying Canada's CASSIOPE satellite to orbit. Launch took place on Sept. 29, 2013. [Read the Full Story Here]

Distant Press View of Falcon 9 Launch

Rod Pyle

SpaceX's improved Falcon 9 left the pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sept. 29, 2013, at just after 9 am (local time). The press watched from a remote viewing site, as the blowtorch-like flame ascended. [Read the Full Story Here]

Kaylee Ausbun Watches Launch of Improved Falcon 9

Rod Pyle

Kaylee Ausbun, the Air Force officer in charge of public affairs for this launch, smiles with relief as SpaceX's improved Falcon 9 rocket departs the launch pad on Sunday. To her left is Jim Spellman of the Western Spaceport chapter of the National Space Society. [Read the Full Story Here]

Members of the Press View Falcon 9 Launch

Rod Pyle

Assembled members of the press watch as SpaceX's improved Falcon 9 rocket departs the pad on Sunday morning, Sept. 29, 2013, at Vandenburg Air Force Base, CA. [Read the Full Story Here]

Vandenberg Air Force Base Sign

Rod Pyle

Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California hosted the Sept. 29, 2013, launch of SpaceX's improved Falcon 9 rocket. Launching from the west coast allows SpaceX to place payloads into polar orbits, often essential for military satellites. [Read the Full Story Here]

LIFTOFF! SpaceX's New Falcon 9 Rocket Launches

SpaceX

SpaceX's first next-generation Falcon 9 rocket launches on its debut test flight from Space Launch Complex 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sept. 29, 2013. [Read the Full Story Here]

CASSIOPE Satellite Revealed: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch

SpaceX

Canada's CASSIOPE space weather satellite can be seen atop the second stage of SpaceX's first upgraded Falcon 9 rocket in this view from a camera on the booster, just after payload fairing separation, during a test flight that launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sept. 29, 2013. [Read the Full Story Here]

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch Test: 2nd Stage

SpaceX

The second stage engine of SpaceX's new upgraded Falcon 9 rocket ignites during a test flight on Sept. 29, 2013 that launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. [Read the Full Story Here]

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch Test: Stage Separation

SpaceX

The first stage of SpaceX's upgraded Falcon 9 rocket can be seen falling away in this view from a camera on the rocket's second stage after a test launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sept. 29, 2013. [Read the Full Story Here]

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