On Friday, SpaceX launched its final Block 4 version of the Falcon 9 rocket, and it did so during the pre-dawn hours along the Florida coast. Sunrise and sunset launches are always a playground for photographers and especially so for the talented Trevor Mahlmann, who periodically shoots flights for Ars.
The launch marked the 12th successful flight for SpaceX this year—11 Falcon 9 flights, and one Falcon Heavy mission. Meanwhile, the Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 rocket has been optimized for reusability. Its only flight so far was in May of this year and was a success. From now on, SpaceX intends to fly only these advanced boosters.
The Dragon spacecraft which launched Friday is due to dock with the International Space Station on Monday, carrying 2.7 tons of cargo. Until then, we’ll be content with the launch images below.