Ken Kremer —SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM –19 November 2018
PORT CANAVERAL, FL – Barely four days
after a recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Thursday afternoon Nov. 15 from
Florida’s Space Coast and successfully delivered the powerful Es’hail-2 telecommunications satellite to orbit for Qatar,
and subsequent safe upright touchdown on an ocean going platform in the
Atlantic Ocean, the recovered first stage booster sailed into Port Canaveral at
lunchtime today for a beautiful return to home base, Monday, Nov. 19, under mostly
now twice ‘flight-proven’ and twice ‘ocean-landed’ 1st stage booster
was towed into Port Canaveral channel around 12:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT) Nov. 19, 2018 after
a freighter departed earlier Monday morning.
gallery showing the magnificent approach of the still other worldly sight of
the first stage into Port Canaveral from far out in the Atlantic Ocean, sailing through the narrow channel and docking
back for more as the gallery grows.
foot tall Falcon 9 first stage was standing apparently perfectly upright on the
‘Of Course I Still Love You” – or OCISLY – drone ship platform at sea upon
which it landed with four fully deployed legs.
was prepositioned some 400 miles (640 km) off shore in the Atlantic Ocean a few
days prior to the scheduled liftoff.
midday arrival time, the work crews apparently didn’t have enough time to attached
the hoisting cap and crane it off the droneship onto land. Thus craning will apparently
be done Tuesday morning at the earliest.
arrived at the Port until docking at its designated berthing spot around 2:30
1047.2 – was sooty in appearance
as usual but not excessively so upon arrival after a sea going voyage of nearly
four days and a space going voyage of roughly some four minutes up and four
SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 carrying the six ton Es’hail-2 telecommunications satellite at 3:46 p.m. EST (2046 GMT) Thursday, Nov. 15, from
pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. This marked the first daytime launch
since May from Florida spaceport.
booster was previously used to launch the Telstar 19V telecomsat on July 22 2018
for Canadian based Telesat.
meters) Falcon 9 successfully delivered the Es’hail
2 satellite for Qatar to its intended geostationary transfer orbit. Subsequently
the satellite will be raised to geostationary orbit circling Earth 22,500 miles
(36,000 kilometers) over the equator.
The precision guided rocket assisted soft landing of the 156
foot tall booster on OCISLY took place just over eight after launch from KSC. All
4 landing legs successfully deployed in the last seconds.
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.
This landing counts as the 31th successful
landing overall by land and sea and the 18th by sea.
The launch also
marks the 18th by SpaceX this year, matching the company’s record total manifest
from last year.
2 satellite was built by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. in Japan. It is owned by
Qatar’s national satellite communications company, Es’hailSat. It weighs 11,700 pounds (5,300 kilograms).
remained on OCISLY overnight – making for some beautiful photographic opportunities!
SpaceX’s next launch from
Florida is slated for no earlier than Dec. 4 on the Dragon CRS-16 cargo resupply
mission for NASA to the International Space Station (ISS).
Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman 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
Dr. Kremer is a research
scientist and journalist based in the KSC area.
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Bergeron and Jean Wright celebrate arrival of recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 into
Port Canaveral on Nov. 19, 2018. Credit: Ken
Alicia Murphy and Ken Kremer
pose with landed SpaceX Falcon 9 reflecting between us in the channel of Port
Canaveral after sailing back home on Nov. 19, 2018. Credit: