Surreal Sunrise Greets Arrival of SpaceX Sea Landed Booster into Port Canaveral: Gallery

Sea landed SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage
booster arrives at sunrise into Port Canaveral, FL on July 25 passing by Jetty Park Pier.
Following launch of Telstar 19v
telecomsat
from
Space Launch Complex 40
at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
July 22, 2018: Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Ken Kremer 
  
SpaceUpClose.com     25 July 2018

PORT CANAVERAL, FL – A surreal
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.

The Falcon 9 looked decided scorched
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.

This upgraded version of the Falcon
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.

Sea landed SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage
booster arrives at sunrise into Port Canaveral, FL on July 25 passing by Jetty Park Pier. Following launch of Telstar 19v
telecomsat from Space
Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
July 22, 2018.   Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The majestic looking 15 story tall
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.

Check out the Space Upclose image
gallery snapped today from various angles around the Port, Pier, Beach and
Channel by myself and Julian Leek.

We caught our first glimpse of the booster
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.

Sea landed SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage
booster arrives at sunrise into Port Canaveral, FL on July 25 passing by Jetty Park Pier. Following launch of Telstar 19v
telecomsat from Space
Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
July 22, 2018.   Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Basically
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.

Sea landed SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage
booster arrives at sunrise into Port Canaveral, FL on July 25 passing by Jetty Park Pier. Following launch of Telstar 19v
telecomsat from Space Launch Complex 40
at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
July 22, 2018.   Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Hawk
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
on.

OCISLY had been prepositioned some
400 miles (640 km) off shore in the Atlantic Ocean.

It arrived at the Ports mouth
shortly after 7 a.m. EDT.

The booster and OCISLY continued
into the narrow channel slowly for about another half hour or so as numerous ships
and craft of all shapes and sizes sailed by.

Finally they were guided into the
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

The adventure began three days
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. 

The launch used the
newly upgraded Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 first stage – that launched on
Sunday for only the second time.

The Block 5 Falcon 9 will be cheaper to produce and much
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.

Overall Musk’s goal is to radically slash the cost of
building and launching rockets and enabling much cheaper access to space – with
airline like efficiencies for science, commercial enterprises and people.

Musk want to make flying rockets as routine as flying
airplanes.

SpaceX successfully recovered this new Block 5 version of
the Falcon 9 booster which replaces the older, now discontinued Block 4.

The last Block 4 launched in late June for NASA on the
Dragon CRS-15 resupply mission to the ISS.

This
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. 

Check out my fairing arrival story
and photos that accompany this story.

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 for Telesat, one of the world’s leading
commercial satellite operators.

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



Sea landed SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage
booster arrives at sunrise into Port Canaveral, FL passing by Jetty Park Pier. Following launch of Telstar 19v
telecomsat from Space Launch Complex 40
at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
July 22, 2018.   Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com














Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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