Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM – 29 May 2019
PORT CANAVERAL/CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE
STATION, FL – SpaceX’s thrice flown and
thrice landed Falcon 9 first stage from last weeks Starlink 1 launch sailed
into Port Canaveral at lunchtime Tuesday basking in the glow of the Sunshine
states bright sun – 4 days after it soared aloft from Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station and successfully delivered the first 60 Starlink
broadband satellites to LEO.
Standing fully upright and firmly grasped by
the arms of the specially designed Octagrabber restraining device atop the “Of
Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship upon which it accomplished a
precision guided, rocket assisted smooth touchdown the recovered 156 foot tall
spent booster with four fully deployed landing legs sailed into the mouth of Port
Canaveral around 11:30 a.m. EDT.
A crowd of onlookers and space media friends eagerly
awaited the rockets triumphant arrival as the SpaceX naval fleet led by tug
Hollywood towed the recycled Falcon 9 first stage erect on OCISLY past the port
channels entryway at Jetty Park Pier.
Enjoy our Space UpClose photo gallery of the arrival and
docking of Falcon 9 booster 1049.3 at the droneships normal berthing port.
Check back as our gallery grows.
Liftoff of the Starlink 1 mission finally took place at 10:30
p.m. EDT Thursday, May 23 (0230 GMT Friday) from
Space Launch Complex-40 (SLC-40) on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.
Eight minutes later the Falcon 9 first stage successfully made
a precision rocket assisted intact and upright touchdown on the ‘Of Course I Still
Love You’ droneship prepositioned in the Atlantic Coast off the Carolinas.
Falcon 9’s first stage
for this mission previously supported the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission in
September 2018 and the Iridium-8 mission in January 2019.
Tug Hollywood tows thrice flown/landed Falcon 9 booster
1049.3 from Starlink 1 launch May 23 entering Port Canaveral, FL
at 1130 a.m. EDT May 28, 2019 as it sails by Jetty Park Pier. Credit: Ken
To my eyes the triply launched and landed
first stage was NOT excessively
charred compared to my prelaunch photos taken at launch pad 40.
The SpaceX workers had
cleaned off much of the charry soot from the booster exterior core to create a
regular series of nearly white rectangular boxes aligned on top of one another from
top to bottom – that were easily visible in my last prelaunch photos.
The rectangular boxes were
easily visible as the 1st stage was towed in and appeared to be only
slightly darker following the third launch and landing.
Perhaps SpaceX engineers
conducted an experiment to more easily measure the amount of new soot deposited
via a side by side comparison using the cleaned vs uncleaned spots.
from Port arrival to docking of OCISLY at its normal berthing port. Everything
appeared to go very well.
Block 5 version booster will be launched a fourth time. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
has stated that the Block 5 is designed for 10 or more recycled launches.
The jettisoned payload fairings were both recovered
after parachute assisted splashdown, hauled out of the Atlantic Ocean and
sailed into Port Canaveral, Sunday, May 26. See our story/photos.
OCISLY docked nearby the fairings.
articles and galleries about the craning and leg detachments.
were not retracted this time round- likely since the legs were recycled and not
suited for retraction due to aerodynamic stresses as did occur last time on the CRS-17 mission earlier in
constellation has begun with the 1st blastoff of the inaugural batch of 60 satellites
on the firms Falcon 9 rocket on what
turned out to be the third try on May 23 as the recycled Falcon 9 rocket soared
In the not to distant future the Starlink constellation
will grow to many thousands of next generation satellites that could very will revolutionize
the way the world accesses and uses the internet in the next few years by slashing
prices and broadening coverage to hard to reach places across the globe.
At least that’s the hope and dream put forth
by SpaceX CEO and billionaire founder Elon Musk for his planned network of Low Earth
orbiting (LEO) Starlink satellites aiming to provide global high speed broadband
internet services to customers worldwide.
Up to 6 more Starlink launches could take
place this year, Musk tweeted post launch.
Developing and building the first 60 Starlink
satellites “is one of the hardest engineering projects I’ve ever seen done [and
SpaceX has ever undertaken],” Musk said as he outlined his first detailed
vision of the firms Starlink broadband constellation in a prelaunch media conference
call on May 15 – just hours prior to the original target launch date that eventually
was scrubbed minutes before liftoff due to powerful upper altitude winds.
high bandwidth, low latency connectivity, ideally throughout the world that will offer an alternative to expensive services
and also provide internet options to places where no connectivity is currently
Watch my SpaceX launch commentary and rocket photos at this Fox 35
Orlando report from May 16 launch attempt:
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, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events