Video: SpaceX Dragon mission highlights

By Phil Plait | July 18, 2012 12:02 pm

In May 2012, the private company SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit with a Dragon space capsule as its payload. In a history-making event, it docked with the International Space Station and a few days later successfully returned to Earth.

SpaceX put together a short video with the highlights from this amazing mission:

I am not at all embarrassed to admit that parts of this choked me up a little. As incredible as the engineering display was, the best parts of this video are where it shows the SpaceX employees cheering and celebrating the mission milestones. We may get wrapped up in the technical details of these things, but never forget that even in uncrewed missions, space exploration is a singularly human endeavor. I’m proud of these folks, and proud to be a part of species that always wants — always needs — to venture ever outward.

Related Posts:

SpaceX Dragon on its way to the ISS!
When a Dragon mated the space station
Dragon hunting above, dragon hunting below
History is made as Dragon splashes down safely in the Pacific!


Comments (12)

  1. Jelle

    Very nice!

    Stuff like this makes me really want to work in the space industry.

  2. Jon

    I just watched it and yeah.. This was done well. Imagine what they can do with a video of a Mars landing. Can’t wait. :)

  3. Grizzly

    Agreed. The parts I got ch0ked up at were the crowd shots. These are people who invested something special to them – their time, talents, heart – in this endeavour. They have every right to be proud and to celebrate. Good show!

  4. Amazing footage. I’m sure this is a reeeeeally lame question but I just have to ask it since I’m not sure what was that diagonal crack on the return pod.
    Cheers man! keep up the good work..

  5. Cindy

    I’m going to bookmark this and show it to my students this fall. Should be a great intro to physics.

  6. Matt in AZ

    I believe that diagonal crack is for the parachute straps.

  7. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    The crowd, the music, and of course the achievement.


    More specifically, the pilot chute straps as I remember the description.

  8. Kevin in Victoria

    Totally fake! …Oops, sorry, I thought I was commenting on YouTube for a moment.

  9. Carl

    SpaceX is one of the only things that make me wish I was an American. What I wouldn’t give to work for them!!

  10. mike burkhart

    That was grate, I think it about time privet industry get into the space business govermet programs like NASA are good but the privet sector could handle some of the things that NASA is doing and take some of the burden. This would allow NASA to confine itslef to exploratory missions where its done a very good job. Off topic: I just finshied reading the book’ Astronomy of the Acients by MIT press, this book covers: monuments,insterments, and other things used by acient astronomers, it has a chapter on the Sirus mystery, why the star Sirus was drawn red clored in acient times when Sirus is Blue-White also how a tribe in Africa ,The Dogan’ who have no avanced high powered telescopes knew Sirus has a companion that can only bee seen by high powered telescopes, Carl Sagans theroy Jesuit missonarys that visited the Dogon told them about it ,makes sence to me. Maybe the Sirus mystery is a topic for Bad Astronomy 2 Phil.

  11. Calli Arcale

    I got choked up too, and felt tears well up in my eyes. Even warned, I still got emotional, and for all the same reasons. ūüėČ

  12. HoverDonkey

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like I’m present at a seminal moment in the history of my species.

    A whole industry, based around testing the boundaries of human endeavour, is being spawned right now. The possibilities are endless. The potential is unbounded. Who knows what we will have achieved in the next two or three decades?

    Advance is taken for granted, and most of the wonder, for the majority of the population, is gone.

    But for those who still stand wide-eyed in the light of human endeavour, there has never been a more exciting time. We view, with finely defined clarity, sunrise on distant worlds. We bring back samples of bodies whose light takes minutes to reach us. We create autonomous craft that navigate atmospheres and gravity wells, equipped with nothing other than millions of years of human learning, distilled into purposeful, specific directions.

    We are already in the future.

    Who knows what comes next?


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