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Witness an award-winning photo of a SpaceX rocket photobombing the moon in a stunning shot


Apr 2, 2024

Capturing a rocket transiting the moon is a rare sight that requires great skill and precision. Pascal Fouquet, a photographer from Orlando, Florida, achieved this feat and was awarded first place in the United States’ National Award for the Sony World Photography Awards 2024. The awards program, a collaboration between Sony and the World Photography Organization, receives submissions from around the world.

Fouquet’s winning shot captured a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket passing in front of the moon just before the new year. The rocket was launching the United States Space Force X-37B spaceplane on the USSF-52 mission from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Fouquet had less than 48 hours to find the perfect location to capture the image, ultimately settling on an open field behind a hospice center 13.8 miles away from the launch pad.

Using a Nikon D850 camera, Fouquet set his shutter speed to 1/1600 of a second to capture the precise moment the Falcon Heavy rocket passed by the moon. This was the seventh launch for the Space Force’s secretive X-37B space plane, which remains in orbit as of now. The X-37B has previously set records for its extended missions, including one that lasted 908 days.

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By editor

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