— SpaceUpClose.com — 24 July 2018
PORT CANAVERAL, FL – A large broken off mangled piece of the payload
fairing that successfully did its job protecting the Telstar 19v telecomsat from
aerodynamic forces on the ascent to orbit after launching on a SpaceX Falcon
9, sailed into Port Canaveral this afternoon, Tuesday, July 24, barely two days
after Sundays (July 22) blastoff from Cape Canaveral.
And not far behind is the intact and
upright landed recovered first stage booster from the July 22 liftoff – that’s
likewise on the way and could arrive into Port as soon as sometime Wednesday.
Check out our Space Upclose image
gallery snapped today from various angles around the Port after the fairing
portion berthed right next to where the recovered first stage boosters have
this time, unlike prior occasions, making for eyepopping viewing.
What looks to be roughly half of one
of the two payload fairing halves sailed into Port Canaveral around 3 p.m. EDT
today – seen exposed on the deck of the GO Pursuit vessel leased by SpaceX to find
and retrieve it from the ocean and haul it back to land.
Although not surprisingly it was
smashed in half after crashing into the Atlantic Ocean, the mangled and
muddied fairing remains
were nonetheless an amazing sight to see.
further damaged by the corrosive effects of the sea water and waves.
That’s given the fact that SpaceX is
not trying to recover the fairings launched from the US East Coast with the recently
upgraded “Mr.Steven” boat catcher as the firm is doing with US West Coast
At a media telecon earlier this year
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said his engineers are working hard to recover the
fairings. They cost about $6 million or roughly 10 percent the cost the Falcon
Musk hopes his innovative team can
successfully recover and recycle the fairing – just as they have done over two
dozen times with the first stage booster.
The adventure began with the magnificent
post-midnight liftoff of the massive 7.8 ton Telstar 19 VANTAGE (or Telstar 19v)
Canadian commercial telecommunications satellite atop the
upgraded Falcon 9 taking place right at the opening of the lengthy launch window at 1:50
a.m. EDT (0550 GMT) Sunday, July 22 from seaside Space launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
Satellites are encapsulated inside
payload fairings to protect them from destructive aerodynamic forces and
frictional heating as the rocket accelerates through the Earth’s atmosphere on
the way to orbit.
Prior to launch the fairing is
pristine and pretty – check out my Space UpClose prelaunch photos captured at
pad 40 on Sunday afternoon.
Close view of nose cone encapsulating Telstar
19 VANTAGE comsat bolted atop SpaceX upgraded Falcon 9 rocket at Space Launch Complex-40 slated for launch
from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on July 22, 2018. Credit: Ken
They are jettisoned after the rocket
rises high enough to escape the damaging impact of the atmosphere.
In this case, the bisector payload
fairing was jettisoned 3 minutes and 40 seconds after liftoff from pad 40.
SpaceX Falcon 9 launch of Telstar
19v telecomsat from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in
Florida at 1:50 a.m. EDT, July 22, 2018 – in this remote camera view from pad40. Credit:
The newly built two stage 229-foot tall (70-meter) SpaceX Falcon
9 rocket successfully delivered the Telstar 19 VANTAGE comsat to a
geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) for Telesat, one of the world’s leading
commercial satellite operators.
Note that SpaceX will attempt to
catch the fairing following Wednesday’s launch from Vandenberg AFB of the next
batch of ten Iridium NEXT satellites.
Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com