SpaceX has released a collection of high-resolution photos of last night's mission to resupply the International Space Station. The images, which were published to the company's Flickr account this morning, show the Falcon 9 rocket taking off and performing its landing in great detail. It was the second time the company has landed one of the Falcon 9 rocket boosters on a landing pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida — the other three landings were on a drone ship at sea.
Three of the photos (including the one seen above) were taken using long exposures, meaning the cameras' shutters were left open for a longer-than-normal period of time. Long exposures help show the full path that the Falcon 9 rocket took, from its ascent into space all the way to when it landed back at Cape Canaveral. Other photos released by SpaceX show closer, more detailed views of the Falcon 9 rocket taking off and landing.
The Dragon capsule that sat on top of the Falcon 9 safely made it into Earth orbit at around 1AM ET, and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams will use the space station's robotic arm to capture the spacecraft on Wednesday. This Dragon craft contains about 5,000 pounds of NASA cargo, including supplies for the crew and a number of science experiments. The spacecraft is also carrying an International Docking Adapter (IDA) — a 63-inch-wide ring that the ISS crew will attach to the outside of the space station later this week. The IDA will make it easier for private space companies (like SpaceX and Boeing) to dock with the space station in the future.