— SpaceUpClose.com — 25 July 2018
sunrise greeted Wednesday mornings arrival (July 25) of the sea landed and recovered
SpaceX first stage Falcon 9 rocket booster that was towed into the mouth of
Port Canaveral atop a dedicated droneship – just 3 days after successfully launching
the Telstar 19v commercial telecomsat to orbit.
and sooty! But also quite stunning considering the radical impact that SpaceX’s
innovative and low cost recycled rockets has unleashed on the space industry.
9 booster – known as the Block 5 – had accomplished another one of those absolutely amazing intact and
upright precision guided landings on an ocean going platform just 8 minutes after
launching the Telstar 19v comsat from Cape Canaveral.
booster was towed into Port Canaveral by the SpaceX Naval fleet led by Hawk with
little fanfare – as myself and a small group of interested media colleagues
watched from Jetty Park Pier and Beach.
gallery snapped today from various angles around the Port, Pier, Beach and
Channel by myself and Julian Leek.
in the distance several miles off shore of Cape Canaveral Beach before sunrise
at around 630 a.m. EDT – as it was sticking
up improbably atop the flat barge like platform out in the ocean named “Of Course I Still
Love You” or OCISLY for short.
it looks like a pencil sticking up out from the middle of the vast ocean. A rare sight that’s science fictionesque and
hard to believe anyone can land a rocket at sea – but that has actually been accomplished more than two dozen times.
towed OCISLY into Port aided by several tugboats – and as multiple spped boat and other pleasure
craft sped out of the Channel for a day of adventure on the high seas – passing
right by the booster and in many cases likely oblivious to the remarkable goings
400 miles (640 km) off shore in the Atlantic Ocean.
shortly after 7 a.m. EDT.
into the narrow channel slowly for about another half hour or so as numerous ships
and craft of all shapes and sizes sailed by.
berthing port by 8 a.m. to soon begin the process that eventually leads to
craning off onto land. Read all about that in our follow up story
earlier 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, FL.
newly upgraded Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 first stage – that launched on
Sunday for only the second time.
easier to turnaround with minimal maintenance, says SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. His
goal is to relaunch a recovered Block 5 a second time within 24 hours by
sometime next year.
building and launching rockets and enabling much cheaper access to space – with
airline like efficiencies for science, commercial enterprises and people.
the Falcon 9 booster which replaces the older, now discontinued Block 4.
Dragon CRS-15 resupply mission to the ISS.
was SpaceX’s 13th launch of the year.
And as I reported on Tuesday, July
24, a large broken off mangled piece of the payload fairing was hauled into Port
Canaveral on the GO Pursuit vessel.
and photos that accompany this story.
9 rocket successfully delivered the Telstar 19 VANTAGE comsat to a
geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) for for Telesat, one of the world’s leading
commercial satellite operators.
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