NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Falcon 9 test flight. Falcon 9 rocket carrying an unmanned Dragon capsule, lifting off the launch pad at Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral, USA. Falcon 9 and the Dragon capsule were designed and manufactured by the private company SpaceX. This test flight was the first under the NASA COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) initiative, set up to encourage private companies to ship cargo to the International Space Station after the retirement of the shuttle program in 2011. The unmanned capsule parachuted back to Earth about three hours after lift-off and landed in the Pacific Ocean. Photographed on 8th December 2010.
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