All Landing Legs Retracted on 1st 5X Launched/Landed SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster at Port Canaveral: Photos

All Landing Legs Retracted on 1st 5X Launched/Landed SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster at Port Canaveral: Photos
Crane crews retract Falcon 9 1st stage right side landing leg third on June 9, 2020 at Port Canaveral, FL after craning off JRTI droneship onto ground pedestal – up close look. US Flag and Crew Dragon test article in view. From 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster from 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

PORT CANAVERAL, FL – In another remarkable first for a mission already full of stunning firsts all four landing legs were retracted today June 9 on the first ever 5 times launched and landed SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage – specifically on the 8th Starlink mission after the booster returned triumphantly to Port Canaveral Sunday evening, June 7, standing upright and sooty atop the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ (JRTI) ocean going droneship – under heavily overcast skies and delayed by poor East Coast weather all week as we reported earlier.

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.

Dismal weather and massive shelf cloud swirl over 1st 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster after craning off JRTI droneship onto ground pedestal June 8, 2020. From 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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

 

Crane crews retract Falcon 9 1st stage front side landing leg second on June 9, 2020 at Port Canaveral, FL after craning off JRTI droneship onto ground pedestal – up close look. US Flag and Crew Dragon test article in view. From 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster from 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from LC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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.

Crane crews prepare the 4 landing legs for retraction from the 1st ever 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster standing on ground pedestal late in the day June 8, 2020. From 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from LC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Thereafter I watched as the hoisting hook was refastened to the hoisting cap.

Crane crews retract Falcon 9 1st stage left5 side landing leg first on June 9, 2020 at Port Canaveral, FL – in this elevated view – after craning off JRTI droneship onto ground pedestal. From 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster from 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from LC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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.

Crane crews retract Falcon 9 1st stage right side landing leg third on June 9, 2020 at Port Canaveral, FL after craning off JRTI droneship onto ground pedestal – up close look. US Flag and Crew Dragon test article in view. From 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster from 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

All went well with no significant issues.

Crane crews retract Falcon 9 1st stage front side landing leg second on June 9, 2020 at Port Canaveral, FL after craning off JRTI droneship onto ground pedestal – up close look. US Flag and Crew Dragon test article in view. From 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster from 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from LC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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.

Crane crews retract Falcon 9 1st stage right side landing leg third on June 9, 2020 at Port Canaveral, FL after craning off JRTI droneship onto ground pedestal – up close look. US Flag and Crew Dragon test article in view. From 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster from 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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.

Between 2 water reflection shadows lies a pelican during landing leg retraction work by crane crews on 1st ever 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster on ground pedestal June 9, 2020. From 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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.

Fisheye view of nighttime streak single image shows blastoff of 5x recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket nearby NASA’s iconic VAB and bounded by Max Brewer Bridge and Space View Park on 8th Starlink mission from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL at 9:25 p.m. June 3, 2020 – and disappears behind flame lit thick overcast clouds as seen from elevated location along the Indian River lagoon in Titusville, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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.

Dismal weather and massive shelf cloud swirl over 1st 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster in this elevated view – after craning off JRTI droneship onto ground pedestal June 8, 2020. From 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. 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 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.
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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

State law enforcement spped by as crane crew works of leg retraction of 5x recycled Falcon 9 from 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch LC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Crane crews retract Falcon 9 1st stage left side landing leg first on June 9, 2020 at Port Canaveral, FL. From 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster from 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from LC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

 

Below 2 water reflection shadows lies two pelicans during landing leg retraction work by crane crews on 1st ever 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster on ground pedestal June 9, 2020. From 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Crane crews retract Falcon 9 1st stage front side landing leg second on June 9, 2020 at Port Canaveral, FL . From 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Crane crews retract Falcon 9 1st stage front side landing leg second on June 9, 2020 at Port Canaveral, FL . From 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Right side leg retraction – from 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Crane crews retract Falcon 9 1st stage left side landing leg first on June 9, 2020 at Port Canaveral, FL – in this elevated view – after craning off JRTI droneship onto ground pedestal. From 5x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster from 8th SpaceX Starlink mission launch from LC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL on June 3, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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Ken Kremer

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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