SpaceX's 1st 'Block 5' Falcon 9 Rocket: The Launch Photos

Scorch marks

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The scorch marks indicate that this booster has already made the journey to space and back.

Mystery language

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Is this some weird alien language? Are the predators trying to communicate with us? While we're not sure what this marking is (but are definitely sure it's not aliens), it does make for interesting speculation.

Grid fins

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A close-up view of the grid fins. If you look closely you can see the booster's designation: "46," for B1046.

MP payload fairing

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Tucked inside this fairing is the Indonesian telecommunications satellite Merah Putih.

Launch take two

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The second flight of SpaceX's first Block 5 first-stage propels a Falcon 9 rocket into space on Aug. 7, 2018.

Return to Space


The second launch of SpaceX's first Block 5 Falcon 9 booster delivered the Merah Putih communications satellite into orbit for PT Telkcom Indonesia.

Streaking Back to Space


This long exposure shows SpaceX's first Falcon 9 Block 5 as it streaks back to space.

Exhaust-ing Launch


The Block 5 Falcon booster spawned a vast plume as it lifted off on its second flight. SpaceX planned to launch the booster at least three times in 2018.

Booster in port

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The booster arrived in port just a few days after launching. Crowds of people awaited its arrival, hoping to get the first glimpse of this veteran spacecraft.

Booster legs and workers

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Crews work to prep the booster for removal from the drone ship. Tiny humans help to provide a sense of scale for the massive booster.

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Amy Thompson
Contributing Writer

Amy Thompson is a Florida-based space and science journalist, who joined as a contributing writer in 2015. She's passionate about all things space and is a huge science and science-fiction geek. Star Wars is her favorite fandom, with that sassy little droid, R2D2 being her favorite. She studied science at the University of Florida, earning a degree in microbiology. Her work has also been published in Newsweek, VICE, Smithsonian, and many more. Now she chases rockets, writing about launches, commercial space, space station science, and everything in between.