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Watch this unique footage tracking a SpaceX rocket landing

SpaceX successfully launched its Transporter-2 mission on June 30, sending 85 commercial and government spacecraft (including CubeSats, microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles) and three Starlink satellites into orbit.

After the mission, the commercial space transportation company led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk posted some unique footage of the reusable first-stage Falcon 9 booster as it came in to land at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

While SpaceX has filmed many of its 80-plus Falcon 9 rocket landings since the first one in 2015, this footage is special in the way that it tracks the booster from high in the sky all the way down to its landing spot. The audio of the booster firing up to slow its descent adds to the special quality of the content.

Tracking footage of Falcon 9 landing on LZ-1

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 1, 2021

SpaceX launched the Transporter-2 mission from Cape Canaveral on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 30.

Watch Falcon 9 launch 88 spacecraft to orbit →

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 30, 2021

The mission marked the eighth launch and landing for this particular first-stage booster. SpaceX later posted a video showing a wider view of the rocket coming in to land.

Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on Landing Zone 1!

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 30, 2021

SpaceX also shared footage of the deployment of three Starlink satellites that will join its growing constellation of small satellites geared toward providing internet from space.

Deployment of 3 Starlink satellites confirmed

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 30, 2021

SpaceX’s mission came on the same day that Virgin Orbit launched its own commercial service for the deployment of small satellites, though its system involves firing a rocket from a converted jumbo jet rather than a more conventional ground-based launch.

California-based Rocket Lab is another space company that has its eye on the small-satellite launch market, and it already has a number of successful commercial missions under its belt following its first one in 2018.

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Trevor Mogg
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