It has been quite a year for rocket launches—to say nothing of landings. As we approach the end of 2016, Ars thought it might be worthwhile to revisit the year in rockets, from attention-getting SpaceX launches to less appreciated but still impressive liftoffs from Russia, Kazakhstan, China, and elsewhere.

In our view, the most picturesque rocket launch came in June, when United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket hefted a US spy satellite into space. The Delta IV, the most powerful rocket in operation with a capacity of 28.4 tons to low-Earth orbit, blasted off from Florida under sunny skies and looked like something Vincent van Gogh might have painted had he lived in the 21st century.

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