July 18, 2016 - A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the 11th Dragon spacecraft on the ninth operational cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40 at 12:45 a.m. EDT. On board Dragon was 4,975 pounds of cargo and experiments including a new docking adapter for use in future missions being developed by Boeing and SpaceX.
Approximately 8 minutes after launch the first stage booster touched down at Cape Canaveral AFS, almost six miles from where it was launched, marking a second successful land based touch down for a Falcon 9 rocket.
Booster separation at 40 miles in altitude is shown in image 9 and the first re-entry burn is shown in image 10, followed by the final burn sequence. Landing leg deployment begins in image 14 just moments before touch down.
The last image is a single 10+ minute exposure showing the rocket's launch path on the left and the return path on the right; with the initial burn, the dark non-burn portion, and the final burn.
There was also a beautiful 98% full Moon out illuminating the Space Coast!
Photos taken from Port Canaveral; a distance of 10 miles from the launch pad, 6 miles from the landing pad, and 250,000 miles from the Moon. :-)
© Dennis Huff