Legless SpaceX Falcon 9 Lowered Horizontal in Record Turnaround Time and Shipped Back to Cape in ‘Dance’ with Payload Fairings

Recovered SpaceX Starlink Falcon 9
1st stage is tilted and lowered horizontally by two cranes and crews working
together around 5 PM EDT May 29, 2019 one day after arriving vertical atop
OCISLY droneship into Port Canaveral, FL on May 28
. Note: 9 Merlin 1D engines fully exposed.   From May
23 SpaceX Starlink 1 launch.
 Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Ken
Kremer —
SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM
– 1 June 2019
PORT CANAVERAL/CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE
STATION, FL –  Barely a day days after the
4 legged, recovered Falcon 9 first stage from the SpaceX Starlink 1 launch arrived
back into Port Canaveral at lunchtime Tuesday, May 28, the 15 story first stage
was tilted and lowered horizontal late Wednesday afternoon May 29 – after all
the landing legs had been detached by ground crews and in what amounts to
record turnaround time.
Then a day later the sooty booster was
shipped back to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the multi-wheeled
transporter at lunchtime Thursday, May 30 – simultaneously to the two payload
fairings by moved to a warehouse at the Port and in what amounted to another beautifully
choreographed space first with first stage and fairings on the move in a horizontal
‘dance’ slithering in between hundreds of containers along the way.
Recovered lowered SpaceX Starlink Falcon 9
1st stage and recovered payload fairings are simultaneously transported horizontally
in between hundreds of shipping containers at Port Canaveral berthing port in choreographed
‘dance’ moves on May 30. 1st stage moved back to Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station for refurbishment.  
From May 23 SpaceX Starlink 1 launch.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Recovered lowered SpaceX Starlink Falcon 9
1st stage and recovered payload fairings are simultaneously transported horizontally
in between hundreds of shipping containers at Port Canaveral berthing port in choreographed
‘dance’ moves on May 30. 1st stage moved back to Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station for refurbishment.  
From May 23 SpaceX Starlink 1 launch.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
In fact it took only 49 hours overall from
the time SpaceX’s thrice flown and thrice landed Falcon 9 first stage from last
weeks Starlink 1 launch was towed back into the mouth of Port Canaveral at 11:45
a.m. Tuesday May 29 grappled vertically upright atop the “Of Course I Still
Love You” droneship – until the horizontally booster restrained by two ring
clamps trekked back to the Cape on the long white transporter.
Recovered lowered SpaceX Starlink Falcon 9
1st stage and recovered payload fairings are simultaneously transported horizontally
in between hundreds of shipping containers at Port Canaveral berthing port in choreographed
‘dance’ moves on May 30. 1st stage moved back to Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station for refurbishment.  
From May 23 SpaceX Starlink 1 launch.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
All this virtually non-stop action came only 4
days after it soared aloft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and
successfully delivered the first 60 Starlink broadband satellites to LEO on May
23.

Enjoy our Space UpClose photo gallery of the tilting, lowering,
decapping and transport of the 1st stage Falcon 9 booster 1049.3 back to the Cape and off their respective
recovery ships
at their normal berthing port.

Check back as our gallery grows.
Recovered SpaceX Starlink Falcon 9
1st stage is tilted and lowered horizontally by two cranes and crews working
together around 5 PM EDT May 29, 2019 one day after arriving vertical atop
OCISLY droneship into Port Canaveral, FL on May 28
. Note: 9 Merlin 1D engines fully exposed.   From May
23 SpaceX Starlink 1 launch.
 Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Recovered SpaceX Starlink Falcon 9
1st stage is tilted and lowered horizontally by two cranes and crews working
together around 5 PM EDT May 29, 2019 one day after arriving vertical atop
OCISLY droneship into Port Canaveral, FL on May 28
. Note: 9 Merlin 1D engines fully exposed.   From May
23 SpaceX Starlink 1 launch.
 Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Furthermore be sure to check out our earlier Space UpClose articles
and galleries of the launch as well as the arrivals of the payloads fairings
and the arrival and docking of Falcon 9 booster, and
cranings of the fairings and booster off their
respective recovery ships.

The SpaceX work crew uses a pair of cranes with cables
attached to the top and bottom of the booster to lower it gracefully
horizontally.
Recovered SpaceX Starlink Falcon 9
1st stage is tilted and lowered horizontally by two cranes and crews working
together around 5 PM EDT May 29, 2019 one day after arriving vertical atop
OCISLY droneship into Port Canaveral, FL on May 28
. Note: 9 Merlin 1D engines fully exposed.   From May
23 SpaceX Starlink 1 launch.
 Credit:
Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
First it’s raised off the pedestal where the legs are
detached and moved to the spot where its slanted over. 
Lowering the 156-foot-tall 1st stage started at
5 p.m. EDT May 29 and proceeds rapidly. Its all over in about 10 minutes. 
Liftoff of the Starlink 1 mission 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. 
Recovered lowered SpaceX Starlink Falcon 9
1st stage and recovered payload fairings are simultaneously transported horizontally
in between hundreds of shipping containers at Port Canaveral berthing port in choreographed
‘dance’ moves on May 30. 1st stage moved back to Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station for refurbishment.  
From May 23 SpaceX Starlink 1 launch.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

This Falcon 9 1st
stage and the payload fairings will be checked by SpaceX engineers and refurbished
for eventual likely reuse if they pass SpaceX rigorous inspection regime. 





“The goal of the Starlink system is to provide
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
available,” s
aid SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in
a prelaunch media telecon. 



Watch my SpaceX launch commentary and rocket photos at this Fox 35
Orlando report from May 16 launch attempt:





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, 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


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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