art SpaceX Falcon 9 landing burn

This piece depicts a Falcon 9 booster in the final stages of its landing burn. The landing legs have been unlatched and are beginning to deploy, the pistons pushing the legs out against the airstream. At the top of the booster, the interstage-mounted grid fins continue to pivot to keep the booster pointed towards the landing pad. Now that the single Merlin 1D engine in the center of the octaweb has slowed the booster down to a near-standstill, the turbopump exhaust flame mostly burns down instead of wrapping around the octaweb and up the side. Read more (3 min)

article A Brief Recap of Reusable Rockets

In the decades since the first rockets flew, the only launch vehicle capable of any kind of reuse was the Space Shuttle, which required in-depth inspection and refurbishment after each flight. Meanwhile, SpaceX and Blue Origin, among others, are revolutionizing the space launch industry and building rockets that can – and have – been reused. What's changed, and why is reusability coming back?

post Transcript of Tom Mueller's speech interview on May 2, 2017

Background info

On May 2, 2017, Tom Mueller, propulsion CTO at SpaceX, conducted a speech/interview with some members of the New York University Astronomy Society. This was streamed live on Twitch; I’ve transcribed it with the help of u/dansemacabred2, u/jclishman, and u/Zucal. Many thanks!

Check out the interview on, and the post in the SpaceX subreddit.

Read more (38 min)

art Heart of Gold performs its Trans-Mars Injection burn

This piece shows the SpaceX Interplanetary Transportation System Mars lander performing the trans-Mars injection burn that marks the beginning of its coast to Mars.

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art SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster Landing on OCISLY

My rendition of a Falcon 9 booster landing on Of Course I Still Love You, SpaceX’s East coast droneship. This is a triple-engine landing burn; while SpaceX hasn’t performed a triple-engine landing burn since JCSAT-16, very heavy GTO payloads at the edge of Falcon 9’s capability may require triple-engine landing burns in the future.

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art SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster Glide

My rendition of a Falcon 9 booster returning to Earth after a launch. The four grid fins are guiding it towards its landing pad as it hurtles downwards at supersonic velocities.

In this image, the Falcon 9 is at about 40km in altitude (with entry burn shutdown having occured seconds earlier) and is less than thirty seconds from the start of the landing burn.

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project SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon 2 3D model Visit project Visit project

This is a 3D model of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket along with the Dragon 2 capsule. The Falcon 9 is in its landed configuration (but with the soot mysteriously washed off) and the Dragon 2 is in launch configuration (except for, you know, the “being on the rocket” part.)

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Reaching Orbit SpaceX Falcon 9 Reaching Orbit Direct link

This is a visualization of how much velocity the SpaceX Dragon capsule gains from the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster during a launch to the ISS.

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SpaceX Dragon 2 Landing SpaceX Dragon 2 Landing Direct link

This is the approximate trajectory of the SpaceX Dragon 2 as it lands on Earth after a trip to the ISS.