1st SpaceX Booster That Launched Humans on Historic NASA Space Mission Returns to Port Canaveral: Photos

1st SpaceX Booster That Launched Humans on Historic NASA Space Mission Returns to Port Canaveral: Photos
1st Falcon 9 1st stage booster that launched humans and landed atop “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship from historic NASA Demo-2 test flight mission is towed by tug Hawk and SpaceX fleet past Jetty Park Pier into Port Canaveral channel Tuesday afternoon June 2, 2020 – 3 days after SpaceX launch May 30 from Space Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

PORT CANAVERAL, FL  – Three days after briefly departing Earth on a historic mission launching humans from US soil for the 1st time in 9 years and for the 1st time on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket the booster that successfully and safely delivered a pair of veteran NASA astronauts to the ISS returned to Port Canaveral atop the drone ship upon which it touched down at sea returned to a triumphant welcome at Port Canaveral and the Florida Space Coast – albeit under hazy skies and windy conditions.

The recovered 16 story tall SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage that landed atop the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ (OCISLY) droneship some eight and a half minutes after launching at 3:22 p.m. ET Saturday May 30 sailed into the mouth of Port Canaveral past Jetty Park Pier today, Tuesday, June 2 at around 2 p.m. to the cheers of a few media and spectators gathered for the momentous occasion.

1st Falcon 9 1st stage booster that launched humans and landed atop “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship from historic NASA Demo-2 test flight mission is towed by tug Hawk and SpaceX fleet past Jetty Park Pier into Port Canaveral channel Tuesday afternoon June 2, 2020 – 3 days after SpaceX launch May 30 from Space Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Because of COVID-19 coronavirus safety restrictions the crowds at Jetty Park beach, park and pier were much smaller than normal – but those gathered were even more excited because of the historic nature of the NASA & SpaceX Demo-2 test flight mission that saw the first humans launching from American soil since 2011.

Nevertheless it was as exhilarating as always for those of us fortunate to be on hand to witness this still remarkable arrival and what amounts to a thin stick precision landed atop a small platform in the open seas.

It was even more fantastic seeing both NASA logos – the Meatball and the Worm – painted on the side of the booster facing us fortuitously as it sailed by. See our photos.

The Meatball and the Worm: Both NASA logos emblazoned for the 1st time on a SpaceX Falcon 9 that also counts as the 1st booster that launched humans and landed atop “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship from historic NASA Demo-2 test flight mission is towed into Port Canaveral channel Tuesday afternoon June 2, 2020 – 3 days after SpaceX launch May 30 from Space Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

This mark a first for NASA logos to be emblazoned on a Falcon 9 – to the best of my knowledge.

The Meatball and the Worm: Both NASA logos emblazoned for the 1st time on a SpaceX Falcon 9 that also counts as the 1st booster that launched humans and landed atop “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship from historic NASA Demo-2 test flight mission is towed into Port Canaveral channel Tuesday afternoon June 2, 2020 – 3 days after SpaceX launch May 30 from Space Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Veteran NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley soared to space atop this Falcon 9 first stage flying aboard a commercial SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that safely docked at the International Space Station ISS) Sunday morning, May 31, just 19 hours after the first human launch from US soil for the first time in nine years on a history making and flawless blastoff from the Florida Space Coast.

The 156 foot tall brand new Falcon 9 booster landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship arrived here at 2 p.m. this afternoon June 2 towed by tugboat Hawk in the Atlantic Ocean into the Port Canaveral channel past Jetty Park pier and accompanied by the SpaceX naval fleet just offshore of the beach.

Recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 from Demo-2 launch arrives into Port Canaveral on June 2, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

Enjoy our Space UpClose photo gallery of the arrival and docking of the somewhat sooty Falcon 9 booster 1058.1 at the droneships normal northside berthing port at North Cargo Pier 6. Photos by the team of Ken Kremer & Jean Wright.

Check back as our booster arrival gallery grows.

Recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 from Demo-2 launch arrives into Port Canaveral on June 2, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

The booster berthed less than a hour after arrival as is normal. A larger crowd witnessed the berthing operation at the cargo pier since that is open to the public.

Whether the booster is recycled for another mission or perhaps is saved for a museum display somewhere remains TBD.

The booster appeared to be sitting lower and closer to the deck with the landing legs positioned a bit flatter than normal – perhaps indicating a harder landing and usage of the crush core.

Spectators enjoy arrival of 1st SpaceX falcon 9 to launch humans after arrival back into Port Canaveral, FL on June 2, 2020 from NASA Demo-2 astronaut launch. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The Octagrabber clamping/grasping device used to firmly to hold to booster upright on the deck and the 9 Merlin 1D first stage engines were also clearly in view at certain times during the transit in the channel guided by the SpaceX naval fleet.

The Lighthouse and the Booster UpClose- Between the SpaceX Falcon 9 landing legs at right that launched the 1st NASA Astronauts to Space in 9 Years from US Soil on Demo-2 test flight launched May 30 – see the famous Cape Canaveral lighthouse (right) & Blue Origin launch complex (left). Landed/Recovered 1st stage Towed into Port Canaveral 2 PM Jun 2, 2020 atop OCISLY droneship. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
1st Falcon 9 1st stage booster that launched humans and landed atop “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship from historic NASA Demo-2 test flight mission is berthed at Port Canaveral cargo pier after returning to Port Canaveral channel June 2, 2020 –from Demo-2 May 30 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

UpClose views 4 landing legs & 9 Merlin 1D 1st stage engines from recovered / landed SpaceX Falcon9 1st stage booster from historic launch of Demo-2 NASA astronauts on 1st piloted Crew Dragon May 30, 2020 from KSC sailed back to Port Canaveral towed by Jetty Park Pier to berthing spot June 2. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The beautiful and flawless blastoff of the Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA veteran astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley lifted off on the historic test flight at 3:22 p.m. EDT Saturday, May 30, on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida bound for the International Space Station (ISS) – to the cheers of tens of thousands of spectators gathered from around America and three days after dismal weather forced a scrub of the first attempt on Wednesday.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 3:22 p.m. EDT, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Demo-2 mission is the first launch with astronauts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. As seen from the Indian River lagoon, Titusville, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The NASA SpaceX Demo-2 test flight mission marks the resumption and restoration of US Human spaceflight capability on American rockets in American spaceships from American soil for the first time since the forced retired of NASA’s space shuttles in 2011.

In another historic first the Demo-2 mission marks the first time in history that NASA astronauts have launched from American soil in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station.

The veteran pair launched aboard a commercial SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket and flew to the International Space Station (ISS) on the Demo-2 test flight which also counts as the first crewed mission for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

Recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 from Demo-2 astronaut launch for NASA arrives into Port Canaveral on June 2, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com
Crowd enjoys arrival of recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 from Demo-2 astronaut launch for NASA into Port Canaveral on June 2, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

 

UpClose views 4 landing legs & 9 Merlin 1D 1st stage engines from recovered / landed SpaceX Falcon9 1st stage booster from historic launch of Demo-2 NASA astronauts on 1st piloted Crew Dragon May 30, 2020 from KSC sailed back to Port Canaveral towed by Jetty Park Pier to berthing spot June 2. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Both the SpaceX Crew Dragon and competing Boeing Starliner commercial spacecraft were developed to restore US human spaceflight and fly our astronauts to low earth orbit and the ISS with funding under the auspices of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

UpClose views 4 landing legs & 9 Merlin 1D 1st stage engines from recovered / landed SpaceX Falcon9 1st stage booster from historic launch of Demo-2 NASA astronauts on 1st piloted Crew Dragon May 30, 2020 from KSC sailed back to Port Canaveral towed by Jetty Park Pier to berthing spot June 2. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Watch my commentary at Wesh 2 NBC TV News Orlando on June 2 about the booster arrival in Port and its meaning:
https://www.wesh.com/article/historic-falcon-9-rocket-astronauts-back-in-brevard-county/32746787

Watch my live June1 interview on TRT about the launch and successful arrival and docking:

Watch my live SpaceX Demo-2 launch commentary from the 1st attempt with CBS 12 here for a full hour May 27:

Watch my prelaunch commentary at CBS 6 TV News Orlando here:
https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/05/25/the-mission-nasa-astronauts-will-be-first-to-fly-in-spacex-spacecraft/

Watch my prelaunch commentary at Newsmax here:

 

The Meatball and the Worm: Both NASA logos emblazoned for the 1st time on a SpaceX Falcon 9 that also counts as the 1st booster that launched humans and landed atop “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship from historic NASA Demo-2 test flight mission is towed into Port Canaveral channel Tuesday afternoon June 2, 2020 – 3 days after SpaceX launch May 30 from Space Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Commercial Crew and Artemis and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Demo-2, Starlink, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

 

The Meatball and the Worm: Both NASA logos emblazoned for the 1st time on a SpaceX Falcon 9 that also counts as the 1st booster that launched humans and landed atop “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship from historic NASA Demo-2 test flight mission is towed into Port Canaveral channel Tuesday afternoon June 2, 2020 – 3 days after SpaceX launch May 30 from Space Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 from Demo-2 astronaut launch for NASA arrives into Port Canaveral on June 2, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com
Recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 from Demo-2 astronaut launch for NASA arrives into Port Canaveral on June 2, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

 

Recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 from Demo-2 astronaut launch for NASA arrives into Port Canaveral on June 2, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

 

Crowd enjoys arrival of recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 from Demo-2 astronaut launch for NASA into Port Canaveral on June 2, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com
Recovered / landed SpaceX Falcon9 1st stage booster from historic launch of Demo-2 NASA astronauts on 1st piloted Crew Dragon May 30, 2020 from KSC sailed back to Port Canaveral to berthing spot June 2. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Recovered / landed SpaceX Falcon9 1st stage booster from historic launch of Demo-2 NASA astronauts on 1st piloted Crew Dragon May 30, 2020 from KSC sailed back to Port Canaveral to berthing spot June 2. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Recovered / landed SpaceX Falcon9 1st stage booster from historic launch of Demo-2 NASA astronauts on 1st piloted Crew Dragon May 30, 2020 from KSC sailed back to Port Canaveral to berthing spot June 2. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

UpClose views 4 landing legs & 9 Merlin 1D 1st stage engines from recovered / landed SpaceX Falcon9 1st stage booster from historic launch of Demo-2 NASA astronauts on 1st piloted Crew Dragon May 30, 2020 from KSC sailed back to Port Canaveral towed by Jetty Park Pier to berthing spot June 2. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

 

 

UpClose views 4 landing legs & 9 Merlin 1D 1st stage engines from recovered / landed SpaceX Falcon9 1st stage booster from historic launch of Demo-2 NASA astronauts on 1st piloted Crew Dragon May 30, 2020 from KSC sailed back to Port Canaveral towed by Jetty Park Pier to berthing spot June 2. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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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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