Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM – 31 May 2019
PORT CANAVERAL/CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE
STATION, FL – In another Space first for
SpaceX the recovered Starlink launch 1st stage and payloads fairings
were simultaneously craned off their respective recovery ships just hours after
the booster arrived back into Port Canaveral Tuesday, May 28 – and 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.
The simultaneous hoistings of the 1st
stage and the 1st of two payload fairings was sudden and unexpected
but a real treat for the few of us watching from across the narrow Port channel.
In fact only about four hours had passed from
the time SpaceX’s thrice flown and thrice landed Falcon 9 first stage from last
weeks Starlink 1 launch was towed back into Port Canaveral at lunchtime Tuesday
atop the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship and the booster was craned off.
In the meantime the Octagrabber’s restraining
robotic arms were detached from the booster and the hoisting cap we call the
BLLRD or Booster Lift and Leg Retraction Device was placed on top of the core standing
on OCISLY by the SpaceX crane work crew.
The 4 landing legs however were not retracted
– rather they were dissected off the next day.
I knew as soon as I saw the BLLRD cap that
the legs would be detached because the cap was not equipped with hoisting
cables. These 4 legs were not new – rather they were recycled and perhaps too deformed
Enjoy our Space UpClose photo gallery of the 1st
stage and fairing cranings of Falcon 9 booster
1049.3 off their respective recovery ships at their normal berthing port.
Check back as our gallery grows.
3rd landing pad detached from recovered Starlink Falcon 9 1st stage on May 29 that arrived atop OCISLY into Port
Canaveral on May 28. From May 23 SpaceX Starlink 1 launch. Credit: Ken
The 156 foot tall first stage was craned off
OCISLY starting around 3:45 p.m. EDT May 24 using the normal crane and onto the
normal ground pedestal in the port. The operation took roughly 30 minutes which
is about normal.
Up Close look inside at Starlink recovered payload fairing.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
The first payload fairing was craned off the
GO NAVIGATOR recovery ship around 4 p.m.
The second one was craned off GO
SEARCHER around 5 p.m.
earlier on Sunday, May 26. Hence it was totally unexpected to witness the
simultaneous lifting action.
and galleries of the launch as well as the arrivals of the payloads fairings
and the arrival and docking of Falcon 9 booster
1049.3 at the droneships normal berthing port.
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.
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.
for this mission previously supported the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission in
September 2018 and the Iridium-8 mission in January 2019.
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 May.
4th landing pad detached from recovered Starlink Falcon 9 1st stage on May 29 that arrived
atop OCISLY into Port Canaveral on May 28. From May
23 SpaceX Starlink 1 launch. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Instead the crane crew
methodically detached all four by the normal procedures during the course of the
next day Wednesday May 29.
then the landing pads were detached by the crews as they manually slung up each
of the 8 pieces one leg after another and carried them away to a storage area
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,” said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in
a prelaunch media telecon.
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.
Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer
– email: ken at kenkremer.com
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