Jared: SpaceX launches DSCOVR satellite to L-1

After nearly two decades in storage, and nearly a week of scrubbed launch attempts, NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite, formerly known as Triana, took to the skies above Cape Canaveral just before sunset on February 2nd, 2015. Powered to orbit by a Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, this mission marked the farthest-reaching payload sent by SpaceX, as well as being the first time that SpaceX and the US Air Force have collaborated on launching a mission (SpaceX was selected as the launch service provider for this mission by the USAF, a first for the NewSpace company which has previously only been contracted by NASA or privately held corporations).

DSCOVR Launch

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Clear skies, mild weather, and the setting sun combined for spectacular visibility of this launch, including the ability see the first stage relight for a controlled re-entry. While the ocean conditions off Jacksonville, FL, prevented having the SpaceX drone ship on hand to attempt first stage recovery, the rocket still made a powered descent to a soft landing in the Atlantic Ocean, paving the way for the next reusability experiment.

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off carrying DSCOVR to the Sun-Earth L1 point