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Watch SpaceX launch a US spy satellite and land a rocket in this mesmerizing drone video

A stunning new video from SpaceX captures what it’s like to watch a rocket launch from mid-air and then witness the booster return to Earth.

The video, captured by a flying SpaceX drone, shows the company’s launch of the classified NROL-87 satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The mission lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket Wednesday (Feb. 2) from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. 

“Drone shot of today’s Falcon 9 launch and landing,” SpaceX wrote on Twitter Wednesday after the launch. Cameras on the Falcon 9 first stage captured its entire descent from space to landing.

A new SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the classified NROL-87 spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office on Feb. 3, 2022 from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. (Image credit: SpaceX)

The video’s  view is amazing. With the drone camera hovering nearby, a brand-new 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket thunders off its pad under the power of its nine first-stage Merlin engines. The rocket soars into a serene, blue sky with the bright sun just off screen. 

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