Peer Out The Window Of A Rocket Returning To Earth

What does it look like when one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets falls back to Earth? Here’s the view of our gorgeous planet captured during the uncontrolled tumble to reentry.


The coolest thing about the Falcon 9R rockets is hidden in the name — that R stands for “reusable,” an ambitious if not-quite-yet-proven attempt to soft-land on a barge and recycle the massive boosters in future flights. But before the rocket can try landing on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean, it first needs to find its way back to Earth. This video was captured by a Go Pro camera tucked inside the ejected fairing of a Falcon 9R rocket during a recent flight, recovered when the fairing washed up on a beach in the Bahamas. The video is replayed in real-time to give us just the smallest glimpse of how surreal and lovely our planet is from afar.

Top image credit: SpaceX/Mika McKinnon

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To be completely fair here, the fairing is not in a “controlled” anything at this point. It has been jettisoned as unnecessary mass by this point, and is falling to the atmosphere where it will generally be expected to break apart and/or burn up. However, it IS very light for its mass and sometimes rocket fairings survive the fall and even occasionally wash back ashore.