The hoisting of the 156 foot tall recovered Falcon 9 first stage took place starting at about 3 p.m. EST docked at the droneships normal northside berthing port – some six hours after the booster arrived safely and proudly into Port Canaveral at sunrise towed by tug Hawk and guided by the SpaceX Naval fleet into the channel past Jetty Park Pier at around 7:30 a.m. EST.
In the meantime the crane crew had attached the hi tech hoisting device to the top of the 16 story tall booster with 4 deployed landing legs at Noon – setting the stage for the craning.
Enjoy our Space UpClose photo gallery of the hoisting cap attachment and craning from sea to land of Falcon 9 booster 1048.4.
Check back as our gallery grows.
We unofficially nickname the hoisting cap as the BLLRD or Booster Lift and Leg Retraction Device – which is bolted on top of the core standing on OCISLY by the SpaceX crane work crew.
A small crowd of onlookers and space media friends eagerly awaited the rockets craning after the triumphant arrival into port past the channels entryway at Jetty Park Pier.
See also our earlier Port Canaveral arrival story and photos.
The craning off OCISLY away from the clutches of the octograbber and onto the regular land pedestal still took about 30 minutes overall-about the same length of time as with the old yellow crane.
The main difference was that the octograbber robotic restraining arms were not fully lowered after detaching from the core – as had been the practice in all previous port craning operations with recovered Falcon 9 boosters.
Liftoff of the Starlink mission took place at 9:56 a.m. EST (1456 GMT) during an instantaneous launch window Monday, Nov 11 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’ (OCISLY) droneship prepositioned in the Atlantic Coast off the Carolinas.
This Starlink mission counts as the heaviest ever payload lofted by a Falcon 9.
Over the weekend the rocket sat erect at the ground pedestal with no further ground processing landing leg work due to dismal and very windy weather at Port Canaveral.
Eventually the weather improved on Monday Nov. 18 and landing legs commenced – see our follow-up story and photos.
This marks the fourth successful launch and landing for the first stage booster – thus setting the stage for a fifth mission.
These upgraded Block 5 Falcon 9 first stages are designed for 10 launches with minimal refurbishment says Musk.
Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported the Iridium-7, SAOCOM-1A, and Nusantara Satu comsat/Beresheet moon landing missions.
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’s upcoming outreach events:
Nov 23, 1 PM, Titusville, FL: “50th Anniversary Apollo 12 and NASA’s Human Return to the Moon with Project Artemis” at American Space Museum, Titusville, FL. Lecture free. Open to the public.
Dec 3/4: 7 PM, Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL. “SpaceX CRS-19 Launch to ISS Dec 4.” Free. In hotel lobby
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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