SpaceX Landed Booster Arrives Beautifully Back in Port Canaveral Before Hurricane: Photos

SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage booster
arrives back into Port Canaveral, FL on Sep. 12, 2018 guided by SpaceX Naval
fleet atop the ocean going OCISLY droneship platform upon which it landed after
launching the Telstar 18v comsat on Sep 10 from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. 
Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Ken Kremer 
  
SpaceUpClose.com     12 September 2018
PORT CANAVERAL, FL –  Barely two days after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
blasted off early Monday and successfully delivered a powerful
telecommunications to orbit, and subsequently landed safely upright on an ocean
going platform in the Atlantic Ocean the recovered first stage booster sailed
into Port Canaveral today for a beautiful return to home base, Wednesday morning
under sunny skies, September 12 – beating out the approaching menace of
Hurricane Florence. 

The
recovered 15 story tall sooty 
Falcon 9 first stage sailed
into Port Canaveral around 10 a.m. EDT (1400
GMT
) – standing upright on the ‘
Of Course I Still Love
You”  – or OCISLY – drone ship
platform at sea upon which it landed that was prepositioned
some 400 miles (640 km) off shore in the Atlantic Ocean. 

I witnessed the approach of OCISLY with
the now familiar but still rather weird looking view of the booster appearing like
a stick sticking up in the middle of the ocean.

SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage booster
arrives back into Port Canaveral, FL on Sep. 12, 2018 guided by SpaceX Naval
fleet atop the ocean going OCISLY droneship platform upon which it landed after
launching the Telstar 18v comsat on Sep 10 from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. 
Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Check out our expanding and exclusive Space
UpClose gallery of OCISLY’s approach into Port, sailing through the narrow
channel, docking and subsequent craning off the droneship onto land.

SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage booster
arrives back into Port Canaveral, FL on Sep. 12, 2018 guided by SpaceX Naval
fleet atop the ocean going OCISLY droneship platform upon which it landed after
launching the Telstar 18v comsat on Sep 10 from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. 
Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The journey to space and back began with liftoff of the hefty 7.7
ton Telstar 18 VANTAGE high throughput telecommunications satellite (HTS) – which
is designed to serve the Asia Pacific region – which finally took place at
12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 GMT) September 10 from seaside
Space launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, FL.

The precision guided rocket assisted
soft landing of the 156 foot tall booster on OCISLY took place about eight and
a half minutes after launch. All 4 landing legs successfully deployed in the last
seconds. 

Recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 first
stage booster is craned off the ocean going OCISLY droneship platform on Sept.
12, 2018 onto mounting cradle on land at Port Canaveral, FL. It was towed into
Port after successful soft landing following Telstar 18v comsat launch Sept. 10
from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
 
At least one Merlin 1D engined was
reignited to carry out an entry burn and then a propulsive pinpoint landing
burn using a stock of the residual propellants to rapidly slow the descent through
the speed of sound in the final moments before touchdown. 

Up close view of 1st
stage Merlin 1D engines and landing legs as recovered/landed Falcon 9 booster
sails into Port Canaveral Sept. 12 after SpaceX launch of Telstar 18 on Sept. 10
from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

This landing counts as the 29th
successful landing overall and the 18th  by sea. 



Up close view of recovered/landed
Falcon 9 booster sailing into Port Canaveral Sept. 12 after SpaceX launch of
Telstar 18 on Sept. 10 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

After the Falcon 9 booster number
1049 was towed into port by the Hawk, it traveled about half an hour before
reaching its normal and final berthing spot around 1030 a.m. EDT  

A SpaceX crane crew then worked to
methodically attach a hoisting cap to the top of the booster Wednesday late
morning.

The square shape cage like apparatus
consists of a pullies and cables and a circular cap. It was raised into place
by a crane and mounted firmly about an hour later by around 1130 a.m.

The crane operator and technicians
then began hoisting the booster off OCISLY in a choreographed operation that began
around 2 p.m.

After lifting the booster, the crane
swung around to the back and moved the booster a short distance to a cradle
mounting platform
onshore
a short distance away that holds the booster firmly
in place.




The next step was to lower a series of
four sets of stabilizing cables from the cap to the ground and then an
additional two cable from the cap to the tip of the first landing leg to be
retracted. That was as far as the team got on Wednesday.

The leg retraction is next up to
follow on Thursday. Watch for my follow on story and photos.

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

………….

Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage booster
arrives back into Port Canaveral, FL on Sep. 12, 2018 guided by SpaceX Naval
fleet atop the ocean going OCISLY droneship platform upon which it landed after
launching the Telstar 18v comsat on Sep 10 from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. 
Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Up close view of recovered/landed
Falcon 9 booster sailing into Port Canaveral Sept. 12 after SpaceX launch of
Telstar 18 on Sept. 10 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Up close view of 1st
stage Merlin 1D engines and landing legs as recovered/landed Falcon 9 booster
sails into Port Canaveral Sept. 12 after SpaceX launch of Telstar 18 on Sept. 10
from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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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