SES-9 (Falcon 9)
4 March 2016
Space Launch Complex 40
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Page Two of Two
A selection of images leading up to main engine cutoff and first stage separation from the second stage, seen occurring in the bottom slice.
The exhaust trail stretches across the sky in this wide angle view as the first stage falls away.
More views of stage separation.
SpaceX attempted to land the first stage on a barge positioned about 400 miles east of the Cape but it made a hard landing and was destroyed. Success was not expected given the high fuel consumption and trajectory required to get the SES-9 satellite into orbit.
The second stage powers on into orbit at right while the first stage falls away at left.
The two halves of the fairing protecting the SES-9 satellite during its trip through the denser part of the atmosphere separate and fall away. Discarding the fairing as soon as possible in the thinning atmosphere sheds a lot of weight that the second stage no longer has to carry.
From left, the first stage, then the fairing halves, and the second stage.
The exhaust trail broke up quickly in the windy, winter sky.
The pieces are all distancing themselves from each other. The first stage at lower left, then the two fairing halves, and the second stage powering on into orbit at top right.
The last view from the beach before everything was obscured by the clouds, haze, and distance. SES-9 was successfully placed into orbit.
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