This morning, SpaceX pulled off yet another successful Falcon 9 rocket landing after launching a spy satellite into space for the National Reconnaissance Office. Since it was a national security launch, we weren’t treated to very many shots of the rocket in space. But in lieu of that footage, we did get to see multiple angles of the Falcon 9 rocket on its descent back to Earth — including one long shot we’ve never quite seen before.
During the online webcast, there was a ground-based camera (or so it seemed) trained on the Falcon 9 nearly the whole time the rocket fell back from space. This meant we also got a super clear shot of the Falcon 9 first stage — the core of the rocket that contains the main engines — when it separated from the vehicle’s second stage, the part of the rocket carrying the secret satellite.