Technicians spent the day Monday attaching the hi tech booster lift and leg retraction hoisting device cap to the top of the 1st stage on JRTI and then unbolting the mobile octagrabber clamping device from the base of the 5 times recycled booster in between spells of dismal weather.
Finally after a slight clearing the 16-story-tall booster was craned off JRTI later Monday afternoon June 8 using the giant Liebherr crane from Germany – under very gloomy skies with a massive shelf cloud swirling overhead.
The retraction work began in earnest the next day – and it went well.
But first the crane crews detached the top hook from the hoisting device cap – perhaps as a test of the robustness of the retraction operation with no stabilization for the cap from the massive Liebherr crane
The 1st landing leg was fully retracted late lunchtime over a half hour from about 1 to 130 PM Tuesday, June 9 – but with no crane attached to the hoisting cap device – with the booster B1049.5 standing on the pedastal.
Thereafter I watched as the hoisting hook was refastened to the hoisting cap.
Then I observed as the 2nd (front) and 3rd (right) landing legs were sequentially being retracted by workers Tuesday afternoon June 9 at 430 to 450 PM and 535 to 6 PM respectively.
All went well with no significant issues.
But the technicians watched very closely from only a few feet away as they were hoisted on jig lifts to be given a birdseye view at multiple points and carefully inspect the retractions in progress.
The rear leg was completed later.
Enjoy our eyewitness Space UpClose photo gallery of the 5x launched and landed Falcon 9 booster 1049.5 standing both vertical and resting horizonal throughout this week of the SpaceX crane crew efforts ongoing at Port Canaveral.
Check back as the gallery grows.
The mission began with the spectacular liftoff of the 8th Starlink commercial blastoff that took place Wednesday at 9:25 p.m. Wednesday June 3 (0125 GMT Thursday June 4 from seaside Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL.
SpaceX Falcon 9 booster 1049 successfully streaked to orbit and carried out the eighth Starlink launch of 60 broadband internet satellites into heavily overcast skies Wednesday evening from the Florida Space Coast.
Although this was the third Falcon 9 first stage to be recycled to a fifth launch – this mission marked the first time a fifth launched booster was safely and softly landed for another recycle – to a record breaking sixth launch and landing.
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 Space 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.
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Ken’s upcoming outreach events:
Jun 11: 7 PM, Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL. “SpaceX Demo-2 and Starlink launches and NASA/ ULA Atlas V Mars 2020 rover and more launches” Free. In hotel lobby. Photos for sale
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.